Once Again, Muscular Dystrophy Patients Say, ‘Not in My Name!’

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2 min read

The late Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon may have been one of television’s longest-running and best-known fundraisers, but not everyone was a fan of the program. According to The Washington Post, many muscular dystrophy (MD) patients, as well as some former telethon poster children, cheered when it went off the air in 2010, because reportedly “Lewis treated the children he claimed to be helping with little respect, … he pitied those living with muscular dystrophy and … he used offensive language when describing them.”

Today, many people with MD are similarly outraged over the cruel MD experiments on dogs being carried out in their name at Texas A&M University (TAMU). After PETA revealed that experimenters at the school intentionally breed dogs to suffer from a severe form of canine muscular dystrophy—causing their muscles to weaken and waste away until they can barely walk, swallow, or even breathe—MD patients spoke out.

“I can tell you that I wouldn’t wish [MD] on my worst enemy, let alone on defenceless animals,” said one MD sufferer named Ian Hughes. “These cruel experiments aren’t working—there’s still no cure or effective treatment for MD. But don’t misunderstand me: The choice is not between animals and humans—it’s between good science and bad science, between methods that lead to findings with direct relevance to humans and those that don’t. It’s time to switch to humane, effective, and modern non-animal research which doesn’t cause animals to suffer and which offers those with MD real hope.”

In a letter to TAMU’s president, surgeon Sandeep Vijan wrote, “As an individual with muscular dystrophy, I would rather continue to suffer than have someone abuse dogs in their failing search for a cure.”

Katie Baldock, another MD patient, said, “As someone with MD, breeding animals with this disease is utterly disgraceful. … Yes, we want a cure, but to inflict our suffering onto innocent animals is simply cruel and most importantly, something we NEVER asked for!”

These and other MD patients who have criticized experiments on animals know that inflicting this disease on dogs is not only terribly cruel, it’s also leading us further away from a cure or effective treatments. Analysis has shown that there are serious pitfalls in trying to apply the results of MD experiments on dogs to humans and that some studies have even produced the opposite results in humans.

Please join compassionate people everywhere in urging TAMU to embrace modern, non-animal tests that will offer real hope of a cure and soon make it unthinkable to treat sentient beings as tools for human use.

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