Proposed bill would end animal use in medical training statewide


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Advocates and physicians gathered at the State House Wednesday evening to show support for legislation that would limit the live animal testing for medical training.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Solomon Jr. and Sen. Bridget Valverde, would instead encourage physician training programs to use human simulators, which feature realistic skin, fat and muscle.

“Patients here deserve doctors who are trained using the most modern techniques,” Valverde said. “Trainees deserve better than to be taught using outdated methods. Our bill will ensure that all medical training in our state meets those standards.”

It would also end the use of animals in Brown University’s emergency medicine residency, which takes place at Rhode Island Hospital.

The bill’s sponsors say it is one of only a handful of emergency medical training programs in the country, and the only one in New England, that still uses live animals during training.

“Using animals for medical training is outdated, unnecessary and is no longer considered the most effective way to train physicians. Almost every emergency program in the nation has ended this practice,” Solomon said.

Violating the proposed law would be a misdemeanor, according to the bill’s sponsors, which will be punishable by fines of up to $1,000 per animal used.

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