The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery recognizes that scientific and medical knowledge developed through the use of experimental animals has made possible many of the most effective treatments now available to the field of otolaryngology and surgery of the head and neck. We support the judicious and appropriate use of animals in research in our field for the advancement of knowledge and the education of professionals being trained in otolaryngology. We know that the majority of the public recognizes this necessity and supports such use.
This support for the use of animals in research is predicated on the humane and ethical treatment of the animals to ensure they are not used needlessly and are spared all unnecessary pain and distress. The AAO-HNS stresses adherence to all appropriate federal, state, local, and institutional laws and guidelines that regulate the use of animals in research. It is important that all personnel undertaking procedures using animals be qualified through training and experience to discharge their responsibilities in a humane and scientifically appropriate manner. Studies that employ animals should continue to undergo review to assure that these requirements are met.
Direct biological observation and experimental manipulations in animals are vital to the advancement of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders and diseases of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. Although in vitro testing and computer models have some application to these problems, most questions continue to require testing in the more complex and realistic biological context provided by animal models before application in humans. Studies employing the judicious and appropriate use of animals for biomedical research have saved countless lives and have improved the quality of life and medical care for millions of people. It is essential that this work continue.
Important Disclaimer Notice
Position statements are approved by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Inc. or Foundation (AAO-HNS/F) Boards of Directors and are typically generated from AAO-HNS/F committees. Once approved by the Academy or Foundation Board of Directors, they become official position statements and are added to the existing position statement library. In no sense do they represent a standard of care. The applicability of position statements, as guidance for a procedure, must be determined by the responsible physician in light of all the circumstances presented by the individual patient. Adherence to these clinical position statements will not ensure successful treatment in every situation. As with all AAO-HNS/F guidance, this position statement should not be deemed inclusive of all proper treatment decisions or methods of care, nor exclusive of other treatment decisions or methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results.
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