The Professions: Conflicts and Controversies
The major professions are caught in a dilemma over animal rights. Professionals and practitioners in medicine, law, veterinary medicine, psychology, natural resource management, and dietetics hold conflicting philosophical and scientific viewpoints that deal with animal and human relationships. Some animal rights -- oriented groups have formed within these professions. How successful they will be in attracting a major part of their profession's members to their point of view remains to beeen.
T he animal rights and animal welfare movements have influenced the professions of medicine, law, veterinary medicine, psychology, dietetics, and natural resource management. With their interests in animals and their products, practicing professionals have faced a choice on animal welfare and animal rights issues: to advocate, oppose, or straddle the fence. New advocacy organizations have emerged within these professions and have attracted advocates and sympathizers.
The American Medical Association (AMA), established in 1847, is a voluntary service organization of physicians with nearly 300,000 members from every segment of medicine and representing 41 percent of all physicians in the United States. Its mission is to promote the science and art of medicine and the betterment of public health. Policies of the organization are decided through the American Medical Association House of Delegates. Physicians from every state, over eighty medical specialty societies, and federal service groups are represented. The controversies surrounding the use of animals in biomedical research have pulled physicians into the debate on animal and human relationships. The American Medical Association has consistently supported the humane use of animals for biomedical research, asserts that research involving animals is essential to improving the health and well-being of the American people, and actively opposes any legislation, regulation, or social action that inappropriately limits such research.