Johns Hopkins Under Fire For Running Animal Labs

BALTIMORE (WJZ)— It’s one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world.

But as Jessica Kartalija reports, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is under fire for using live animals to train medical students.

A YouTube video shows a “pig lab,” an exercise used at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to train surgeons. It’s a technique Drs. Martin and Barbara Wasserman–both graduates of the medical school– call barbaric.

“It is inhumane because animals are brought in, they experience fear, they experience anxiety,” said Barbara Wasserman. “They are tied down to the table; they are sedated.”

After five years of trying to get Hopkins to do away with animal labs, the Wassermans filed a complaint with the city prosecutor, saying the pigs’ pain and suffering is unnecessary, urging the school to use its state-of-the-art technology to teach future surgeons.

“They have a simulation model that teaches you how to make an incision, how to put your hands inside a body that looks like a human being, and that’s what we’re asking,” Martin Wasserman said.

The Wassermans also point out that just across the city at the University Of Maryland School of Medicine, students have been using simulation labs, as opposed to animals, since the mid ’90s.

Now they’re calling for an investigation, saying animal labs are illegal in Maryland.

“The law says an institution for non-research purposes can’t inflict pain unnecessarily on an animal,” Martin Wasserman said. “They have continued to not follow the current statutes.”

In response to the Wassermans calling for an investigation, Hopkins released a statement:

“The use of live animals in medical teaching at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is rigorously reviewed on  a regular basis by the Hopkins Institutional Animal Care and Use committee.”

In the 1980s, medical schools switched from using dogs to pigs because their anatomy is more similar to humans.

More from Jessica Kartalija
  • derrickman

    Hopkins has been using the two legged kind for years. I have seen countless black men getting paid for tests that may or may not have been dangerous. Living in east Baltimore, there are plenty of guinea pigs available.

  • jim

    Cut on a pig first or cut on a human first. It’s a no brainer

  • Laurel

    i say practice on death row inmates….animals are to sweet to die for us stupid humans…..

    • Mama78

      I actually agree with this… didnt even think about it. LOL… Great idea!!

      I was going to mention that any one of us that would have a loved one sick with illness~I’m sure~ would choose a pig “researched” versus their loved one deceased…

  • derrickman

    Not enough death row inmates.

  • michele

    I agree take all the death row inmates and use them spaer the innocent animals they did nothing wrong. Use the worthless humans that are sitting there waiting to die. they should have been dead along time ago. why should our taxes keep those idiots alive.

  • michele

    sorry for the mispelling of spare

  • Lorraine Kaehler

    These are serious long-standing concerns of animal abuse practices, that have hardly had a voice at all in any press or news media concerns in our country. It is an absolute outrage to all human moral social values, that these matters have been so suppressed and so much dark-sided evil takes over the moral perception, and the information pwoer concerns of all the public trust — when it come to rights of the pig as ‘the lab animall’ most exploited for lab research, because of it being “so close to human-likness. Its all too sad — the only open voice — that lopenly addresses the horrors of these lab animal sacrifice concerns, —and it it about animal and human rights — and rights for humane treatment of all animals, however where pigs and biotech-genetic tampering research, and “closed-society” cultures take-over —- cults and cultures that border on the dark-side of occult-based belief systems and practices, there should have been much more full moral light screening and investigative exposure of all the press, media and more openness of the kinds of ethics and belief-systems — than just a single article — back in 2008 about this same “animal rights” about John Hopkins and their approaches to animals being inhumanely used for medical science lessons for theri students concern. How have we let this research go on — for years —with so little press or media concern and so serious a strategic indifference — in play against life and spirit and other kinds of sciences that are not blood-oriented procedures for their practices ??? Why aren’t belief-systems and policies being better screened ,especially of concern if there will be any future advances of our light-energy technologies and information technologies — that are on the edge of serious political ethical concerns, as it is, and these concerns about inhumane treatment of swine ( biotech-genetic-tampering research) that goes way back to the biotech tampering with swine, of 1970’s, according to CBS 60 MINUTES, (1999 story) “THIS LITTLE PIGGY HAS HUMAN DNA” mentioning the rise of these biotech swine farms hidden in descreet areas of New Jersey farms, when the energy industry first became deregulated. Why aren’t there more people like Dr. Wasserman, who has spoken out about the sacrifice of any animals’ blood — for lab experimental purposes, ( or any voiced public, press or media concerns especially of the closed-society suppression of the biotech industries in our country?), Much more open voiced conerns are needed for the life of both pig and human — where quality of life concerns and moral values have to uplifted — for better moral values and perceptive integrity of our lives, moral social values and spirit, often not given a voice at all in any medical science approach to medicine….

  • Patty

    ok get real the average pig lives 6-8 months before going to slaughter, so unless you are a vegetarian you can’t complain. I’m sure they are given drugs. I would rather the students learn on pigs then on humans Do you want a doctor operating on you that hasn’t had hands on practice. If you want to talk about animal abuse look how people torture dogs and cats everyday for no reason, at least these pigs are helping people by helping students learn. I said wake up to the real world.

  • Alumni Protest Johns Hopkins University’s Cruel Pig Lab | Bosworth Online

    […] trump the Wassermans’ concerns about animal cruelty at the illustrious institution. According to CBS Baltimore, for five years they have been trying to get Hopkins to do away with animal labs, […]

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