Peter Singer has blindsided his many critics by backing some medical experimentation on animals. In a BBC documentary on the controversial issue, he says: "It is clear at least some animal research does have benefits. I would certainly not say that no animal research could be justified and the case you have given sounds like one that is justified." Singer, an Australian bioethicist now working at Princeton, is the author of the well-known book Animal Liberation.
His unexpected flexibility may offset remarks he made back in May to an Australian gay magazine. He asserted then that chimps were too social and sensitive to be used in AIDS research. He suggested that patients in a persistent vegetative state could be used instead. "Maybe we could keep them alive for another month or two to do some research that could save millions of lives potentially, and then allow them to die," he told an interviewer.
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