Animal rights protest held outside Baystate Medical Center

Group upset over use of live animals in testing

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The use of live pigs in medical training drew a crowd of protesters to Baystate Medical Center Thursday.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine held a demonstration outside the hospital Thursday morning. The gripe is that Baystate still uses live pigs for their Advanced Trauma Life Support courses. Baystate’s chief of trauma, Dr. Ronald Gross, says that the training saves lives. The group is pushing the hospital to use human simulators instead.

“Baystate is one of three in the entire country that still uses live animals, and I think it’s outdated. It’s a wonderful hospital, but I think this particular part of their training is outdated and should change,” Marge Peppercorn of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

“When training is teaching people to work instinctively, and training people to work instinctively on a living human being, the only way you’re going to learn is if you have a live animal,” Gross said.

Gross told 22News that when the simulator technology is perfect, he would stop using live animals.