From apprehension to fascination with "dog lab": The Use of absolutions by medical students

Arnold Arluke, Frederic Hafferty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forty-one first-year medical school students were interviewed regarding their expectations of and experience in a physiology laboratory where live, anesthetized dogs were injected with drugs and surgically manipulated before being killed. Before going into lab, there was widespread uneasiness among most students regarding the moral implications of their anticipated use of dogs as experimental tools. However, students described the lab in very positive terms after going through it. The findings suggest that this change in attitude stems from the ability of students to neutralize the moral dirty work of "dog lab." The authors argue that this is possible because the students learn absolutions that permit denial of responsibility and wrongdoing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-225
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

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