Dolly should have been left to die in agony

Dolly - the first sheep to have been cloned from an adult cell - has been put out of her misery. Her handler said last year that

I think that if we’re going to create experimental animals we should see how it plays out.

You mean sort of like a Tuskegee experiment for animals?

Sorry. I don’t see the point of inflicting pain simply to “see how it turns out.” What do you suppose they were going to learn? They had already noted the premature aging and other side effects. Was there a particular test you believe that they should have conducted? Alternatively, do you figure that lurid tales of extended agony would have driven a campaign to prevent further experimentation?

did you lke to pull the wings off of flies when you were a kid?

No, of course not, Diogenes the Cynic. This is an entirely serious thread, based on my being troubled by my reaction to seeing the news of her killing.

No, nor do I. I think that animal experimentation is a tricky subject, but that experiments of the “let’s do this bad thing to an animal just to see what happens” is one of the bright lines in the debate. But this is not inflicting pain. This is choosing to end the life of an unusual experimental animal to end its pain. When the question of killing animals in pain comes up, usually we know from long experience what is to come for the animal, because thousands of them have been observed in nature and in the lab. To prolong their lives would be wanton cruelty. But Dolly is unusual. Having created her miserable, freakish life just to see what happens, the humanitarian gesture seems to me to be misplaced (since we may learn things from an unusual animal) and quite empty (since we have already treated her utterly as a thing).

I dunno, that’s the point.

On what basis do you call them “side effects”?

I guess this goes to my earlier remark about the “empty gesture” of a good death for this animal. I find the screens placed around a racehorse when they shoot it an empty gesture for the animal. I suspect the idea that we were interested in the welfare of Dolly is a pretence for our own sake.

The lung disease that afflicted Dolly is common among sheep and “has been spreading at the institute, killing both cloned and normal animals”. I just don’t see what there was to learn by keeping her alive.

Yeah. It would be a good idea in other situations (like if Dolly’s organs were genetically altered ), but I doubt they’d get anything out of waiting for her to die, other than a lot of complaints from PETA.

Anything they didn’t know before about Dolly, they can find out now by doing a necropsy.

So, I’m sensing a bit of sarcasm present in the original question, then. Everyone I know in the animal research biz is actually extremely fond of animals, strange as that may seem to the animal-rights types. I have no doubt that the animal techs responsible for Dolly’s care were genuinely concerned about her not suffering needlessly.

As for Dolly being created “just to see what happens”…well, there was probably a little more to it than that. Generally animal research has some sort of short or long-term goal in mind, such as improved medical care. Most researchers, I’m pretty sure, don’t just go out and try to clone things for the hell of it, nor do they inflict pain on animals for no reason.

It wasn’t posted with that intention, but you may well be right. I suppose it was the juxtaposition of a creature being created careless of regard for its welfare with an evident regard for its welfare that made me react the way I did to seeing the story.

Others seem pretty sure there’s nothing left to learn from Dolly. If that’s so, I’m fine with killing her. But if that were not so, I think I’d stick with my original assessment - even though it makes me highly uncomfortable.

Hey hawthorne, you do know that most biological research facilities are quite nice in the way they deal with animals, right? See this thread here to see how animals are treated in a bio/genetics lab.

What exactly do you have to back up that idea of her life being created “regardless of her welfare”?

I’m under the impression that she had food, shelter (moreso than other, free range animals) and decent medical care.

Humanity learned a lot about cloned animals from her. How is that “just to see what happens”? There was a specific purpose behind the task of cloning an adult animal. Dolly was the result of that.

I think you’re using your objection to animal testing and experimentation to cloud your whole viewpoint here. It’s obvious you are against it, or so strongly against cloning that it takes over.

Dolly should have been left to die in agony

I can understand your point(and hopefully it is your point)how the research could be advanced from observing how such a cloned animal would react to a fatal disease, but I just don’t see how the science advanced by such a procedure could out weigh the humanity. I’m excited by the prospects of cloning, and I’m sure there are many dirty jobs connected with it, but I’m glad I don’t have to do them.

If I’m sounding confused here, it’s because I am. I don’t quite know what to think, and I’m asking for assistance.

Aren’t these are two different things? (and it was *careless of regard * for her welfare, not “regardless”) I don’t mean that her handlers didn’t care whether she suffered once she’d been born, I mean they created her without regard to whether her life would be one of suffering. If we don’t care about that latter, how meaningful is the former?

This is the opposite assumption to Diogenes the Cynic’s post. But I’m neither for treating animals entirely as objects, not against all animal testing. Cloning per se does not bother me.

It seems to me that unusual animals like Dolly throw up questions not usually asked. Usually it is a question of animal suffering against no legitimate research interest. In that case any regard for the animal’s welfare becomes paramount. But what happens if there *are * further questions? How do we weigh the animal’s suffering against the chance of further knowledge? The researcher kept Dolly alive for an additional year - was that appropriate?

Quite. Does killing Dolly now make it less of a dirty job or is it just an attempt to make it feel like less of a dirty job?

I’m excited by the prospects of cloning, and I’m sure there are many dirty jobs connected with it, but I’m glad I don’t have to do them.

Quite. Does killing Dolly now make it less of a dirty job or is it just an attempt to make it feel like less of a dirty job?

I would have to say the latter, even though I would hope the killing was necessitated purely from human concerns. Regardless of the researcher’s true agenda, at first glance it at least seems an acknowldgement of these scientists for the continued suffering of a sentient fellow animal, and even it is a common sense hypocrisy(fer gawd knows I scarffed down enough little lambs with mint jelly), such statements help me sleep a little easier.

From the thread Tristan cited:

“Working with primates one of the stipulations is that once the animal shows visible signs of disease they must be euthanized, to prevent the animal from suffering.”

Now, granted sheep are not primates, but neither are they mice/rats. IMHO what should have been done is to, once it was ascertained that the likelihood of something amazing happening re: Dolly getting better was small, if at all existent, euthanize her to prevent further pain. It was certainly evident that she was not in good health and that things were going to get only worse.