Cats for medical training persist at a MO university

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A pediatrics training program at Washington University that requires medical students to place breathing tubes down the throats of sedated cats and ferrets is drawing fire from protesters who say the practice is not only cruel but also ineffective.

The St. Louis school announced in May that it would no longer use live cats in the pediatric life supporting training course for medical professionals, instead using mannequins for the neonatal simulations.

But the medical school and its affiliated St. Louis Children's Hospital continue to train aspiring physicians using a technique that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says has been abandoned at all but two other pediatric residency programs among more than 200 surveyed in this country.

The committee is organizing a doctor-led protest at the school Thursday morning.

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