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Is it lawful to perform surgery on dead mice in labs?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by distressstudent, 05.15.14.

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  1. distressstudent

    distressstudent 2+ Year Member

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    As some/all of you might know, it is not legal to perform medical procedure on patients even under the direct supervision of a doctor. If you mention at your interviews that you did, the adcom will deny you admission for ethical reasons. Simply, it is not lawful for uncertified people to pefrom these procedure
    Now this is my concern. I used to intern at a lab that extensively ulitize mice and I often have to extract bone marrows from dead mice that I euthanized. My question is that as a intern, did I have the right to do this? For those who have done these things at your lab, did you have to go though special paperwork for this? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: 05.15.14
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  3. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm. 5+ Year Member

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    Unfortunately, non humans, under the law, are considered property. Mice aren't protected under the Animal Welfare Act so you can legally to almost anything you want to them. You are just doing lab work and you're perfectly fine as far as the law is concerned.
     
  4. stupid9234

    stupid9234

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    I think so, you were performing research and often this has to be done. In a lab I worked, we had to freeze every one of the mouse's organ after they were euthanized.
     
  5. stupid9234

    stupid9234

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    There are some laws like how to dispose of them properly.
     
  6. distressstudent

    distressstudent 2+ Year Member

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    Okay great( or not great). Thanks for the help. There are a lot of proper protocols I have to follow; and yeah properly disposing of them is one of them. Good to know that I am not in trouble, but bad to know that mice are just property
     
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  7. lmn

    lmn 2+ Year Member

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    There are laws to prevent cruel acts to animals, but approved research methods aren't subject to the standard laws due to the necessity for science and medical research, as well as strict guidelines for techniques and procedures.
     
  8. hoihaie

    hoihaie Banned Banned

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    If you followed your institution's and your lab's approved animal handing and experimental protocol then you're fine. Ask your lab manager if you dont know what they are.
     
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  9. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-2 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure it's considered surgery if the mice are dead.
     
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  10. WillburCobb

    WillburCobb I am the pull out king Banned Account on Hold 5+ Year Member

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    IRBs exist for a reason.
     
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  11. DrCharlemagne

    DrCharlemagne Old Maid in Training 5+ Year Member

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    Bingo.

    OP, if you're concerned about legality, review your IACUC training documents. You likely raised those mice for tissue samples, and if you follow the IACUC approved protocols you cannot run afoul of institutional policy or the law.

    Also, where you should obtain consent before cutting people or cadavers, animals can't give consent at all.
     
  12. Microglia

    Microglia 2+ Year Member

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    Technically, your name needs to be added to the IACUC protocol that approves these procedures to be allowed to do them, and you need to complete your institutions animal training stuff (usually online quizzes and slide shows). Many labs ignore this red tape, but it is the rule. Overall though, no adcom will freak out about this. I used to do perfusions fairly frequently as an undergrad to obtain and stain certain mouse tissues. I also did live spinal cord surgeries on mice under anesthesia. Basically, you're fine OP.

    HOWEVER, if your lab is doing non- IACUC approved procedures/cruelty, that's a big deal (PM for examples). Sounds like what you're doing is pretty tame and perfectly fine.
     
  13. masaraksh

    masaraksh 5+ Year Member

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    I prefer 'fact finding mission'
     
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  14. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm. 5+ Year Member

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    Kicking, squealing and trying to get away isn't witholding consent? But let's not derail in that direction.

    OP, if you have any concerns, just bring them up with your director.
     
  15. DrCharlemagne

    DrCharlemagne Old Maid in Training 5+ Year Member

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    I worked as a veterinary technician for several years, and the fact that none of the animals could ever consent to the things I did to them in the name of preserving their health still disquiets me. I know you don't always get perfect consent from people, but animals just cannot give consent or even assent in any meaningful fashion.
     
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  16. phunky

    phunky 2+ Year Member

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    Dude. It's a mouse and it's dead. You can do whatever you want to it.
     
  17. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Yes.


    NOw this is my concern. I used to intern at a lab that extensively ulitize mice and I found have to extract bone marrows from dead mice that I euthanized. My question is that as a intern, did I have the right to do this?


    No.

    For those who have done these things at your lab, did you have to go though special paperwork for this?
     
  18. alamo4

    alamo4 Dudeist 2+ Year Member

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    The short answer is that doing procedures on dead animal tissue is totally fine, legal, aboveboard, ethical, etc. Your adcom will likely want to know about your research. The ethical questions surround how the mice were treated up until and including method of euthanasia. Since it sounds like you will just be given live mice right before your procedure, the only ethical concern you are likely to encounter is doing the euthanasia in an approved way.

    Likely before you start the job you will have to watch some videos or go to a seminar about animal research and lab safety (blood borne pathogens, etc.), and although your PI may forget to send you to this couple of hours of training, I think something like it is mandatory everywhere. You will learn that you can basically do whatever you want to invertebrates, but for invertebrates there are some restrictions and there is almost always something like an Institutional Review Board (the one for animals is likely called the IACUC), which is something internal to the school which approves of research proposals. There are published guidelines (various national groups or you school may have its own) on how to treat animals, what to feed them, how to euthanize them, how/when to check them for diseases, how to make sure they are not suffering, how many per cage, etc. In order for your PI to be allowed to host the animals there and do research he/she presumably did tons of paperwork agreeing to follow various protocols and then got the IACUC (other professors, maybe some veterinarians, ethicists, I don't know exactly, but some peeps at your school) to agree to the protocols.

    In order for your PI to have gotten money in the first place he/she likely included wording in grant proposals that they were going to follow XXX protocol for animal care and humane treatment, and then when they want to get the research published in a journal, they will also have to include a statement in the paper about how the animals were cared for, method of euthanasia, etc. following XXX protocol again. If someone is not following ethical treatment guidelines and is lying about it, then that is an even bigger breech of professional ethics.

    Previously dead animal tissue though is fine for you to do whatever you want with, bounded by your own imagination and moral compass. You can go to a butcher to get pig feet to practice suturing or tendon repair. You can dissect a fetal pig. You can dissect a cow eye or a cow heart. You can get a cow liver with the gallbladder attached and then try to remove the gallbladder using laproscopic tools. You can buy formalin fixed sheep brains and section them. You can filet a fish and cook it for dinner. Whatever you want.

    Note by ethics here I mean legal/institutional/professional sorts of ethics. You personally may have very strong feelings about things which differ. That's a point for different discussion. In medical training you are definitely told that certain things are ethical and certain things aren't, and you are tested on these on your various medical boards as they are professional ethics. In your own heart, you may have very different personal opinions, but you can potentially get in trouble for not following the proscribed ethics.

    Some people don't like animal experimentation at all, and I know that some people have been traumatized a bit by being involved. Other people aren't bothered at all and enjoy it and like that they are advancing science.
     
  19. distressstudent

    distressstudent 2+ Year Member

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    lol woah. I wasn't expecting so many responses. To clarify, I did go through some training for it. I was only concerned because I didn't fill out any paperwork for it; I thought I might had to because to even touch patient there were many hoops I had to jump through. But like you guys all mentioned, no paperwork for this exist so I am good.

    And yeah I don't know why I said surgery. I totally meant dissection. Doh!
     

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