Stop the Torture of Cats at the University of Virginia

by Robyn Gianotti
(USA)

For decades, an untold number of cats have suffered at the Medical School of the University of Virginia. They have endured years of daily, repeated (up to 20 times a day), practice sessions of intubation at the hands of paediatric residents.

These cats are used to teach pediatric intubation in spite of the fact that superior, non-animal alternatives: the purpose-built, anatomically correct neonatal simulators, already in use by 95% of US med schools, are readily available.

James P Natarro, MD, PhD, Pediatrics Chair, UVA, refuses to accept and embrace modern scientific advancement. Our goal, by whatever means necessary, is to stop this before the beginning of Spring term, 2013, when UV will purchase more cats from their current disreputable Class A dealer, Liberty Research, a company that the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited for more than 20 Animal Welfare Act violations between July 2009 and April 2011.

UVA has a new medical simulation center, and they already have an infant simulator. They easily replaced the dog lab with a suitable simulation course in 2004, and could obviously do the same with the intubation lab.

We believe continued pressure on the medical school dean and the head of the pediatrics department will eventually lead to change.

We are a rapidly expanding group of serious, dedicated, compassionate animal advocates organizing on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/144828258983731/. We welcome and urge all like minded animal advocates to join us.

We are supported and featured on the websites of the Animal Liberation Front and Our Compass.

We are wholeheartedly committed to "being the change we want to see in the world" and our goals are realistic and within reach!

We have joined in unity for this purpose: To rescue the cats currently suffering and imprisoned at the University of Virginia medical school intubation lab and see to it that they are forever replaced with neonatal simulators.

Note: Tracheal intubation is the insertion of a rubber tube into the windpipe (trachea).

Associated article: Intubation Tubes Used On Cats For Pediatric Medicine Training by Elisa Black-Taylor.

Robyn

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Stop the Torture of Cats at the University of Virginia

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May 22, 2012
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letter to UVA dean and president of pediatrics NEW
by: Anonymous


Dear
I was shocked to learn of the suffering and trauma that has been inflicted upon untold numbers of cats for decades by the University of Virginia Medical School. Your very stubborn insistence on the continued use of cats (purchased from a class A dealer with a long history of animal welfare violations according to the USDA) to teach pediatric intubation technique to your medical residents, when there are superior and humane alternatives such as the Laerdal Neonatal Intubation Trainer readily available is unacceptable. This inferior and outdated method of teaching subjects the cats to enormous stress, suffering and pain. I will not stand idly by and allow for such utterly unnecessary cruelty to continue.
I am a member of a rapidly growing grassroots movement who intent is to affect change at UVA Medical School, we will not relent until we are successful in attaining our reasonable and very realistic goal: To persuade you to immediately cease the cruelty at UVA, accept and embrace the alternative offered you by modern scientific technology and immediately and permanently shut down and dismantle your medieval, inhumane and obsolete intubation lab. To release in to our custody and care, the cats currently used for intubation training technique. To permanently replace the cats through the immediate implementation of the use of purpose-built, anatomically correct neonatal simulators, as are currently in use for this purpose in 95% of North American universities.
Animals are sentient beings, capable of thought and emotion, as well as fear, pain and suffering. Prior to subjecting any animal, not just the cats, to any exploitation, I plead with you to acknowledge this important condition that both humans and non-humans share. Our children and future physicians are undeserving of the cruel legacy you are forcing upon them. We must teach our students, especially medical residents who will be dealing with so much human illness and misery, to have a keen sense of empathy and sincere consideration of other's suffering. Respect for life, compassion and concern for the welfare and innate right to quality of life and to live free of suffering that belongs to all sentient beings is the natural state of an enlightened mind and a truly morally and ethically superior human being.
I urge you, consider my plea and immediately cease causing harm to the cats, release them to us and implement ethical animal research and testing alternatives, which have proven superior to unreliable animal models.

Sincerely,

(your full name)
(your address)
(your city, state and zip code)


May 22, 2012
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protest letter to UV dean and president NEW
by: Anonymous

We are up to 1,063 members and are having a letter writing campaign starting today at: http://www.facebook.com/events/148424465289853/

If you are not on facebook, I'll share the addresses and letter I wrote, feel free to use it at will! I've had to split the letter into two separate comments on this thread because it exceeds maximum length...

Thanks so much! Blessings and love to all! 🙂

(please send two separate letters!)

Steven T DeKosky, MD
UVA School of Medicine
P.O. Box 800394
Charlottesville, VA, 22908
Phone: 434-924-5118
dekosky@virginia.edu

James P Natarro, MD, PhD
Pediatrics Chair
UVA Medical Center
P.O. Box 800386
Charlottesville, VA, 22908
Phone: 434-924-5093
jpn2r@virginia.edu,

Dear (add name)
I was shocked to learn of the suffering and trauma that has been inflicted upon untold numbers of cats for decades by the University of Virginia Medical School. Your very stubborn insistence on the continued use of cats (purchased from a class A dealer with a long history of animal welfare violations according to the USDA) to teach pediatric intubation technique to your medical residents, when there are superior and humane alternatives such as the Laerdal Neonatal Intubation Trainer readily available is unacceptable. This inferior and outdated method of teaching subjects the cats to enormous stress, suffering and pain. I will not stand idly by and allow for such utterly unnecessary cruelty to continue.
(SEE NEXT COMMENT...)


May 22, 2012
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Obviously an Anti-Cat peepole! NEW
by: Anonymous Amputees

This man obviously does NOT like cats! He was willing to give up the dog torture and refuses to do the same for cats. It MUST end!

Animals may not have the same rights as humans, but they deserve the right to live without torture. Let James Natarro voluntee himself for medical study! Or even the med students can take turns being the dummies. Why should animals have to suffer needlessly at the hands od a sadistic tyrant? That is why modern technology was developed.

*&^%$#@!


May 22, 2012
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What can we do? NEW
by: Rose

This is so cruel!
I'm not on facebook as I just don't have the time with my kids and cats and dogs and rescue work but is there anything I can do apart from signing the petition Ruth passed on to me?
Do you have links to email the university head?


May 22, 2012
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How it's done in Boston medical centers NEW
by: Robert Norwood

I was a biomedical engineering technician specialising in operating rooms and for most of my former career - before IT - a technical manager and technical staff person in anesthesia. I helped train and assist residents in technology and on a daily basis worked side by side with these folks. Along the way we evaluated every method and tool that came down the pike, especially for intubation. I got to see a lot on that score. I was even a top scorer on the intubation dummy! Perhaps I missed something but I never heard one Attending, Resident, CRNA or Paramedic say their previous institution used animals. While it might be helpful the trauma it inflicts on animals simply isn't worth it and won't achieve any better result than intubation practice models. The facts are this, once an understanding of the challenges anatomy poses clinical observation followed by assisting and then experience intubating normal, healthy SEDATED adults is where to begin. Torturing animals over this doesn't get you much if anything.


May 22, 2012
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Thank you Robyn NEW
by: Ruth

1054 members in your facebook group now Robyn!
That is amazing in just a few days and shows how much cat lovers hate the abuse of those beautiful creatures.
People power is needed to stop this cruel procedure being done countless times and injuring those poor bewildered cats and you've come to the right place here as Michael and his regulars fight endlessly to stop any abuse we can.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


May 22, 2012
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Thank You NEW
by: Michael

Robyn, thanks for taking the time to get the word out on PoC. I like that. It is particularly galling and upsetting when educated, professional people abuse cats. They should know better.

Unfortunately when educated people abuse cats they use their intelligence and education to find subtle ways to trick themselves and others into believing that it is justified.

A lack of morality cuts across all of society. Some of the most moral and decent people are the poor and uneducated.


May 21, 2012
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Thank you For Getting This Information Out.
by: Jo Singer

This is an excellent article. It tells it just like it is. I am beyond enraged at this time, especially in light of UOV's refusal to do the right thing, and making cats suffer without any rational reason.

Simulators are far better and more anatomically correct. Why this institution continues to torture these animals is totally beyond me.

The Facebook group is fabulous. Thank you so much for creating it. Blessings to all who are helping to get this travesty to end.


May 21, 2012
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No justice? JUST US!!
by: Anonymous

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.
~ John Kennedy



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