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December 14, 2010 | Posted By John Kaplan, PhD


An article posted last week on cnn.com is entitled “Activist group claims to send AIDS-tainted razors to animal researcher”. Click the picture below to be taken to the article.

(photo from www.cnn.com)

I appreciate that CNN reported this news but the article left a question lingering in my mind. I will grant that it has not been verified that the razorblades were tainted with HIV. However, nobody seems to be questioning that this UCLA researcher working in the important area of methamphetamine addiction did receive the razorblades at his home and that they were accompanied by a death threat. CNN goes on to tell that "Since 2006, other anonymous activists claimed responsibility for at least 11 acts of sabotage, vandalism, criminal damage and firebombing against UCLA faculty or property, either on or off campus, university officials said. In March 2009, activists seeking to stop the use of animals in research claimed to set fire to Jentsch's vehicle parked overnight outside his home."

Other similar events have delayed, disrupted, or stopped research throughout the world and placed numerous researchers at risk. The groups claiming responsibility freely admit their intent to punish researchers and deter others from conducting research out of fear. So the question lingering in my mind is why these people are referred to as "activists" It sounds to me like a pretty good description of terrorists.

0 comments | Topics: Animal Research, Bioethics in the Media


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BIOETHICS TODAY is the blog of the Alden March Bioethics Institute, presenting topical and timely commentary on issues, trends, and breaking news in the broad arena of bioethics. BIOETHICS TODAY presents interviews, opinion pieces, and ongoing articles on health care policy, end-of-life decision making, emerging issues in genetics and genomics, procreative liberty and reproductive health, ethics in clinical trials, medicine and the media, distributive justice and health care delivery in developing nations, and the intersection of environmental conservation and bioethics.
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