"At Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, emergency medicine residents are taught procedural skills using live dogs," the statement said. "Trainees are instructed to make incisions, insert a tube into a dog's chest cavity, crack open the breastbone in order to access the heart, and insert or drill a needle into the animal's bones. At the end of each training session, the animals are killed."
According to the PCRM, 89 percent of these centers in the United States use non-animal training methods. They manage to not harm humans or animals.
The Morristown Medical Center, however, says that for the most part they use donors for training. "All emergency medicine residents training onsite at Morristown Medical Center use medical donors or human simulators to learn about and practice commonly seen procedures and techniques," said Morristown Medical Center spokesperson Elaine Andrecovich.
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 03: A therapy dog named Toby reacts as he is pet by a traveler inside Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport on December 3, 2013 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco SPCA and San Francisco International Airport joined forces to launch a new program called 'Wag Brigade' that will have a team of certified therapy dogs that will patrol the airport's to help calm stressed travelers during the busy holiday travel season. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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They do not deny, however, that on occasion they use "live tissue." Andrecovich continued, "For a small number of rare, life-saving procedures uncommonly seen in the emergency department — let alone during a residency — our emergency-medicine residents attend one four-hour lab program at an off-site facility not affiliated with (hospital operators) Atlantic Health System or located on any Atlantic Health System property. Though comparable, medical donors and simulators are not the physiological or anatomical equivalent of live tissue. This program allows them to practice these complicated, potentially life-saving procedures on live tissue."
Andrecovich said that this medical center adheres to all laws and regulations. Dr. John Pippin, the PCRM's director of academic affairs, disagrees with Andrecovich's view. "Morristown Medical Center's use of live dogs makes it a laggard in emergency medicine training, as well as an embarrassment to the town of Morristown," he said.
He continued, "I strongly urge Morristown Medical Center to advance its emergency-medicine training and switch to the educationally superior methods that are based exclusively on human anatomy. This change would be welcomed by the millions of dog-loving residents of New Jersey who will be appalled by this practice."
In an update on Friday, Andrecovich made a statement to AOL.com: "There are not and never have been dogs onsite, the previous program used four animals annually and that effective immediately; we are using cadavers and simulators."