Teaching a culture of care: Why it matters

Autor:Jordi López Tremoleda, Angela Kerton
Páginas:44-60
RESUMEN

El uso de animales en la investigación biomédica sigue siendo un compromiso crítico. Las instituciones de investigación y educación superior desempeñan un papel importante en la enseñanza sobre el uso de animales y se espera que dicha capacitación se traduzca en el desarrollo de una cultura de prácticas de cuidado en todo el personal que trabaja con animales. Pero fomentar una "cultura del... (ver resumen completo)

 
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Teaching a culture of care: Why it matters – Jordi López Tremoleda, Angela Kerton
Rev Bio y Der. 2021; 51: 43-60
www.bioeticayderecho.ub.edu - ISSN 1886-5887
| 44
Abstract
The use of animal in biomedical research remains a critical compromise. Research and higher education
institutions play a major role in educating on the use of animal and such training is expected to translate
into the development of a culture of care practice across all staff working with animals. But nurturing a
“culture of care” and impacting in professional attitudes in the field of animal research remains challenging
due to its social, ethical and different institutional frameworks. From an educational perspective, current
practice remains challenged by the need for better integration of inter-cultural perceptions on animal
welfare, supported by more cross disciplinary integration in educational curriculum including the relevance
of the 3Rs principles and promoting reflective practice strategies. Institutional support is crucial to provide
a safe, and supportive framework to promote such caring ethos. Our aim is to discuss practical actions to
implement and assess culture of care, highlighting its direct impact on the professional integrity of staff
which is directly linked to research and education excellence. Seeking a global welfare for all the beings
involved and supporting individual and team reflective practice will provide better tools to guarantee the
best care of the animals.
Keywords: Laboratory animals; care; welfare; education; wellbeing; profesional responsibility.
Resumen
El uso de animales en la investigación biomédica sigue siendo un compromiso crítico. Las instituciones de
investigación y educación superior desempeñan un papel importante en la enseñanza sobre e l uso de
animales y se espera que dicha capacitación se traduzca en el desarrollo de una cultura de prácticas de
cuidado en todo el personal que trabaja con animales. Pe ro fomentar una “cultura del cuidado” e impactar
en las actitudes profesionales en el campo de la investigación animal sigue siendo un desafío debido a las
diferentes perspectivas sociales, éticas y regulatorias. Desde una perspectiva educativa, la práctica actual
sigue siendo cuestionada por la necesidad de una mejor integración de las percepciones interculturales
sobre el bienestar animal, respaldada por una mayor integración interdisciplinaria en el plan de estudios,
incluida la relevancia de los principios de las 3R y la promoción de estrategias de práctica reflexiva. El apoyo
institucional es crucial para proporcionar un marco seguro y de apoyo para promover este espíritu
solidario. Nuestro objetivo e s discutir acciones prácticas para implementar y evaluar la cultura de la
atención, destacando su impacto directo en la integridad profesional del personal que está directamente
relacionado con la excelencia en investigación y educación. Buscar un bienestar global para todos los seres
involucrados y apoyar la práctica reflexiva individual y de equipo proporcionará mejores herramientas para
garantizar el mejor cuidado de los animales.
Palabras clave: animales en laboratorios; cuidado; bienestar; educación; responsabilidad profesional.
Resum
L'ús d'animals en la recerca biomèdica continua sent un compromís crític. Les institucions de recerca i
educació superior exerceixen un paper important en l'ensenyament sobre l'ús d'animals i s'espera que aquesta
capacitació es tradueixi en el desenvolupament d'una cultura de pràctiques de cura en tot el personal que
treballa amb animals. Però fomentar una “cultura de la cura” i impactar en les actituds professionals en el
camp de la recerca animal continua sent un desafiament degut a les diferents perspectives socials, ètiques i
reguladores. Des d'una perspectiva educativa, la pràctica actual continua sent qüestionada per la necessitat
d'una millor integració de les percepcions interculturals sobre el benestar animal, recolzada per una major
integració interdisciplinària en el pla d'estudis, inclosa la rellevància dels principis de les 3R i la promoció
d'estratègies de pràctica reflexiva. El suport institucional és crucial per a proporcionar un marc segur i de
suport per a promoure aquest esperit solidari. El nostre objectiu és discutir accions pràctiques per a
implementar i avaluar la cultura de l'atenció, destacant el seu impacte directe en la integritat professional del
personal que està directament relacionat amb l'excel·lència en recerca i educació. Buscar un benestar global
per a tots els éssers involucrats i donar suport a la pràctica reflexiva individual i d'equip proporcionarà millors
eines per a garantir la millor cura dels animals.
Paraules clau: animals en laboratoris; cura; benestar; educació; responsabilitat professional.
Teaching a culture of care: Why it matters – Jordi López Tremoleda, Angela Kerton
Rev Bio y Der. 2021; 51: 43-60
www.bioeticayderecho.ub.edu - ISSN 1886-5887
| 45
1. Introduction
The use of animal in biomedical research remains a critical compromise . Higher education
institutions play a major role in educating on the use of animals in research and their welfare, not
only to ensure compliance with existing regulations on animal research, but to promote research
integrity for good experimental practice and animal welfare. Educational programs are expected
to translate into the development of a culture of care praxis in future professionals working with
laboratory animals. But nurturing a “culture of care” and impacting in professional attitudes in the
field of animal research remains challenging due to the complex and variable ethical and c ultural
values associated with the transgression of pain/distress onto another’s wellbeing, the different
perception on animal sentience and the anthropocentric perspective on the use of laboratory
animals for biomedical research. While these challenges are critically relevant, it is also important
to acknowledge that the use of animals in researc h remains a critical compromise in biomedical
progress, despite great efforts of the research community to move towards non-animal
alternatives. Thus, based on current reality that animals are used in medical research, our ai m is
to discuss how to best ensure that all research staff is adequately trained and informed to ensure
the outmost levels of care and humane compassion, promoting and nurturing of culture of care to
provide best animal welfare and, directly, best impact on the quality of the research.
But how do we ensure that such good care praxis is well thought and promoted among all
staff working with laboratory animals, including researchers, animal technologists, academics,
students, regulators, among others? The concept of “teaching a culture” is already complex to
define (Hawkins & Bertelsen, 2019; Robinson et al., 2019), as it could wrongly be associated with
indoctrination on personal moral values in detriment of more natural process of developing
certain ways of working laboratory animals. The Culture of care term within animal research
refers to the commitment to ensure animal care and welfare, quality science and good
professionalism attitude and openness, and all well aligned to the 3Rs principles (Brown et al.,
2018; Hawkins & Bertelsen, 2019) to promote replacement of animal experiments, reduction of
usage and refining high standards of care, welfare, husbandry and experimental procedures.
While there are guidelines (2010/63/EU, 2010; Kilkenn y, Browne, Cuthill, Emerson, & Altman,
2010; NRC-US, 2011; Responsibility in Research , 2014; Smith, Clutton, Lilley, Hansen, & Brattelid,
2018) covering many of these individual aspects, education plays a key role in ensuring a strong
foundation and, importantly, the long term caring and responsible ethos and professional
commitment of researchers working with animals. Existing training, generally focuses on brief
discussions on ethical questions, learning regulatory guidelines, general animal biology and
husbandry and developing competence in practical skills, but with limited scope for reflective
learning and deeper understanding on how these skills and guidelines need to be safeguarded in

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