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Protests cruelty

May 2, 2012
As a physician participant in last week's protest at Baystate Medical Center, I feel compelled to respond to the allegations of Baystate's Dr. Gross that protesters were misinformed and caring more about pigs than humans. The protest was about much more than stopping unnecessary cruelty to pigs. It was also about ensuring optimal training for physicians.
I am a graduate of Harvard Medical School with over 30 years experience in patient care and assure you that working on a pig is not at all like working on a human. Dr. Gross' statements were out of line with the thinking of almost every other surgeon and trauma center.
The American College of Surgery has clearly stated that the now available human simulator systems, which Baystate already owns, are every bit as effective at teaching trauma care and over 98 percent of all the trauma training centers in the U.S. and Canada obviously agree and now use simulators to teach trauma care instead of live animals
In the 21st century there is absolutely no justification for using live pigs for this training and Baystate should join the ranks of all the other major medical centers who have already switched to the more humane and also more relevant use of human simulators.
Marge Peppercorn MD
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