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Using pigs to train medics

August 13, 2009

Re "From the barnyard to the battlefield," Aug. 10

Talk about archaic. The Marines learning medical procedures on pigs cannot begin to be ready to adequately help an injured soldier survive. The fact that animals are being used dulls these young men's reactions, as I am sure they are well aware this is a pig, not a human being. Because most of the public feels that animals are items of convenience, it really wouldn't matter to these soldiers if the pig did feel fear and pain.

I would love to see compassion for all beings taught to our young people instead of the mind-set of the masses: Animals are ours to be used, abused and discarded.

Laura Frisk

Encinitas

::

I am disgusted, but not surprised, that some animal-rights activists oppose "live-tissue" training on pigs for our armed forces' corpsmen and medics. But I am truly appalled that nine members of Congress joined in that opposition.

My son is a Navy EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) petty officer. His chances of surviving battlefield injury are directly related to how well-trained the field medical personnel are. There is no substitute for wound training on live tissue, in which corpsmen and medics are able to emotionally connect with a living, breathing patient, as in this regimen.

Are those who oppose this training actually telling me that if, God forbid, my son is injured in combat, his life is not even worth a pig's life?

Jodie Munden

San Clemente

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I am sure that practicing medical techniques on live human subjects would be even more effective than practicing on pigs, but it is considered morally repulsive. For me and a growing number of others, the use of pigs or any other animal is likewise unacceptable. Practicing compassion is just as important as developing technical skills. I hope one day all will have this point of view.

Ronit Weiss

Valley Village

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