Einstein Medical Center will stop using kittens to practice tube insertion

Posted: August 09, 2012

Albert Einstein Medical Center has decided to stop using kittens to teach medical residents how to insert breathing tubes into babies.

A physician group with a strong interest in animal rights, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, filed a complaint against the hospital with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in May. It contended that simulators were as effective for training as live animals.

At the time, hospital spokesman Damien Woods said that the hospital used simulators, but that doctors believed the kittens also helped prepare doctors for treating tiny premature babies.

The committee on Tuesday released a letter it had received from Einstein, saying it had stopped using animals to teach intubation as of Friday. A spokeswoman for the physicians' group said the USDA did not find any violations at Einstein.

Einstein said in a statement that "while no animals were harmed in this process, in the future we will utilize other instructional strategies when teaching this procedure. Einstein remains steadfast in our commitment to providing the highest standard of training and education."


Contact Stacey Burling at 215-854-4944 or sburling@phillynews.com.

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