Providence, R.I. – A group of prominent doctors has asked federal regulators to investigate Brown University Medical School, claiming that it violates the law by using live pigs for emergency medicine training.

The Doctors Committee for Responsible Medicine on Tuesday asked the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection to investigate the use of animals at Warren Alpert Medical School at Ivy League University .

A spokeswoman for a medical school said that she was unaware of the complaint and that she had not immediately responded to questions regarding the drug. use of pigs. The school's website indicates that his residency training includes hands-on activities. animal labs.

The committee argues eliminate the use of live animals in any medical training and encourages the use of human body simulators instead. Advocates of animal research argue that it is essential to make scientific breakthroughs and advance medical science.

According to the committee, more than 90% of residency programs in emergency medicine in the United States and Canada use only human – based training methods, such as medical simulation or cadavers. The nonprofit represents more than 12,000 physicians.

Brown, in Providence, has violated the federal law on animal welfare because there are alternatives to the use of animals. Therefore, using pigs for emergency medicine training is not justified or inevitable, said Dr. John Pippin, Director of Academic Affairs for the Physicians Committee.

He also argues that the school's Animal Protection and Use Committee does not properly supervise the use of hogs for training, which would also constitute a violation of the law.

"The goal of all these training programs, including at Brown, is to train the best possible doctors in the field of emergency medicine. Everyone agrees on that", said Pippin, a cardiologist in Dallas. "What I claim, and I think I can prove it, is the best way to do it, but does not include the use of animals."

Simulators allow repetition. So, if residents are mistaken in inserting a chest tube, they can do it again, said Pippin.

The models also better represent human anatomy, he said. The skin of a pig is thicker and the trachea much deeper than on a person. Thus, a resident can not drill a hole for the obstructed airways of a person in the same way as on a pig, for example, said Pippin.

The committee is aware of 16 programs that still use live animals and most use pigs. Pippin said he had reached out to all 16.

When Pippin first contacted Brown's medical school in the fall, he said the home manager told him that she would not have time to think about it for six months. He contacted his boss and the Dean of Medicine, he said, but ended up with nothing and wrote the letter.

Pippin said the committee did not want the university to be penalized in any way, but rather that he hoped to encourage Brown to pay attention to the information provided by the committee.