Eric Rosenthal is a second-year graduate student in a neurosciences program. Having just completed his course work, he must design his own project of research. His special area of interest is in studying the effects of methamphetamine and related compounds on brain activity. These compounds are commonly abused as recreational drugs and, although many are illegal, new "designer drugs," or slightly different chemical variations, are developed on a regular basis by illicit drug manufacturers.
One of his first considerations in designing his project is to find an appropriate animal model. In his review of the literature, Eric finds that cats are an adequate model because their brains are physiologically and anatomically similar to those of humans. Rhesus monkeys, however, have brains even closer to those of humans with more complex patterns of brain wave activity. His protocol would entail restraining the animal, hooking up electrodes, measuring brain wave activity both before and after administration of the drug, then sacrificing the animal to examine any physiological and anatomical changes in the brain tissue.
Eric is concerned that any sedatives, anesthetics, or analgesics administered before sacrificing the animal could possibly alter the brain chemistry and consequently Eric's results. Yet, as a humane and compassionate person, he is concerned that the animals not experience any unnecessary pain or suffering.