Actress Mena Süvari recently penned a letter to her home state’s Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello in support of House Bill 5267, which would ban the use of live animals in medical training programs—a practice still used by Rhode Island’s Brown University. “Using animals to teach human medicine is not only unethical, it’s illogical. The bodies of pigs and other animals are so different from the human body,” Suvari wrote in the letter. “Thankfully, there are effective, human-based training methods specifically designed to teach the lifesaving procedures that emergency medicine residents need to learn.” The actress pointed to a 2018 survey that found that 84 percent of participants would prefer that a medical doctor be trained using human models instead of animals. “Setting aside the ethics for one moment,” Suvari wrote, “I’d be incredibly alarmed if, in an emergency situation, my doctor had trained on an animal, rather than with these advanced methods.” Non-profit organization Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)—a group of 12,000 medical professionals who advocate against animal testing—voiced its support of HB 5267 during a demonstration last week outside Rhode Island Hospital where Brown University conducts its live-animal medical training. The practice has already been banned by 95 percent of medical residency programs in the United States.
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