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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

A central dilemma in psychiatric research with nonhuman animals involves the recognition that they are capable of subjective experiences, including fear, distress, suffering, and some forms of psychopathology. These characteristics typically confer a high degree of moral protection since they seriously compromise an organism’s well-being. However, although intentionally inducing serious psychological harms in humans would be considered ethically impermissible, there is less attention to the scope and magnitude of harms imposed on nonhuman animals during the process of experimental justification. There are unresolved questions about how to weigh harms and benefits to humans and nonhuman animals. Despite advancements in understanding the emotional and cognitive capacities of nonhuman animals, these ethical problems are as relevant today as they were historically.

Keywords: psychiatric research, nonhuman animals, psychopathology, well-being, suffering, psychological harms, experimental justification, ethical problems

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