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Please Ask the University of Massachusetts Medical School to End the Use of Pigs in ATLS Courses

December 7, 2010

PLEASE CLICK ON AND SIGN: Ask the University of Massachusetts Medical School to End the Use of Pigs in ATLS Courses

  • You may use the letter provided in the form above, write your own, use the sample below, or send a modified version.



Yesterday, four alumni of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) filed a federal animal welfare complaint charging their alma mater with violating the Animal Welfare Act by using live pigs in a trauma training course.

Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses teach procedures designed to treat acute trauma injuries. The American College of Surgeons, which oversees ATLS courses, has approved the use of human patient simulators such as the TraumaMan System to teach these courses, yet UMMS continues to use live pigs. In these courses, numerous invasive procedures are practiced on anesthetized pigs. At the end of each course, the pigs are killed.

So far, UMMS chief of trauma surgery Timothy Emhoff, M.D., has refused to replace the use of live pigs. Please help us by calling or e-mailing UMMS dean of medicine Terence Flotte, M.D., today and urging him to end this cruel and unnecessary practice. Send an automatic e-mail.

Terence Flotte, M.D.
Dean, School of Medicine
Provost and Executive Deputy Chancellor, UMMS
5 Lake Ave., N.
Worcester, MA 01655
Phone: 508-856-8000

UMMS is among only five percent of U.S. institutions using animals for these courses. Furthermore, UMMS already has a state-of-the-art simulation center that could easily provide nonanimal training methods for ATLS courses

To read the federal complaint click here (or see below).

Thank you for all of your help.


Animal Aid: This will make you rethink animal experiments!

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Dear Dr. Flotte,

I am disturbed after discovering that live pigs are used, exploited, and killed in the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses, and it is important to acknowledge that, although the pigs may be anesthetized, this subjects them to immense suffering.  Pigs are marvelously intelligent and sentient beings, capable of thought, love, pain, and fear, and to expose them to this archaic method of training is alarming.   In a recently conducted survey, it has been determined that in greater than 90% of similar programs, the TraumaMan System has been utilized (PCRM).  The TraumaMan System has been proven a superior model to the live pig “model”, and I fear any student not trained on the most advanced method will have a diminished learning experience. This should be concerning to any potential patient.

Additionally, since pigs cannot be substituted for human beings, inflicting this exploitive process upon them reflects a blatant disregard for life; how can we teach our future medical professionals ethics while enforcing a course that maims and kills live, sentient beings?  This represents a conflict of interest as well as a contradiction in both morals and actions: if pigs are deemed similar enough to humans physiologically, then you must acknowledge that, as sentient beings, pigs should not be exploited and killed either.  Any other conclusion would be considered a discord and would serve as a detriment to the learning process, especially in such a critical field of study.

It would be regrettable not being able to recommend your fine institution; however, because I value the most sophisticated and innovative learning techniques, it would be remiss of me to consider the University of Massachusetts Medical School based on your reliance of such an obsolete method of study. As such, I respectfully ask that you please accept the superior method of study, the TraumaMan System, for your university and students, and make yours an institution of credibility and honor.

I know that your time is limited, and I want to thank you for your attention and consideration.


UMMS APHIS Complaint

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u mass medical school
do you teach healing?
how about learning
a little feeling!!!!
add some heart
to life support class
using pigs as victims
is cruel and crass!!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

5 Comments leave one →
  1. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    December 7, 2010 12:20 pm

    u mass medical school
    do you teach healing?
    how about learning
    a little feeling!!!!
    add some heart
    to life support class
    using pigs as victims
    is cruel and crass!!!!


    • LoVegan permalink
      December 8, 2010 6:41 am

      “do you teach healing?”
      No dear Karen, they teach violence and abuse. If they really cared for human health, they would use human volounteers

      Action taken, thank you Stacey and Karen xox


  2. Nadja Böthin permalink
    December 7, 2010 4:18 pm



  3. Miglena Bozhikova permalink
    December 7, 2010 8:25 pm

    There is other alternatives! It`s time to stop this, now!



  1. Victory! Excellent work … please do it again. « Our Compass

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