July 26, 2005 • Posted in Letter to the Editor
New York Times Magazine, 07/24/05—Response by Marjorie Cramer, MD, FACS
As a physician deeply concerned about human health and disease, I was impressed with the article “Planet of the Retired Apes” but dismayed that more attention was not paid to the scientists and physicians who see the chimpanzee animal model as a dangerous and dead-end route to helping humans.
The use of chimpanzees has been labeled of “limited success” by researchers themselves. Others in the field of science and medicine call it a dismal failure in pursuit of treatments for AIDS and other diseases.
Science needs to be both more sophisticated and also more humane. To accomplish these ends, we need to rethink our parameters, which would include removing chimpanzees from laboratories permanently. They are not really contributing to human health, and we are doing them great harm.
Marjorie Cramer, MD, FACS