From: jh
To: Brad Wilson, Curtis Oda, Paul Ray, rgreenwood, Brad Dee, Dixon Pitcher, Jeremy Peterson, Gage Froerer, ryanwilcox, Jacob Anderegg, Curt Webb, Edward Redd, Jack Draxler, David Lifferth, rmenlove,
Subject: Please Co-sponsor the BEST Practices Act S. 587 / H.R. 1095.
Date: Sun Mar 01 23:25:04 MST 2015
Please co-sponsor the BEST Practices Act (S. 587/H.R. 1095), a bill that will advance military combat trauma training by eliminating the use of live animals in favor of human-based medical simulation.

The men and women who serve in the U.S. military deserve the best medical training possible. Yet the Department of Defense continues to train personnel in combat trauma courses using animals when superior human-relevant methods are widely available. The animals--more than 8,500 goats and pigs each year--are often stabbed, shot with firearms, burned, and have their limbs amputated before being killed. The use of animals in this training is unnecessary and has been phased out of nearly all civilian trauma programs and an increasing number of military training centers, which now use high-tech simulators modeled on human anatomy to teach the procedures that some military personnel still learn on animals. 

Just last year, the United States Coast Guard committed to reducing the number of animals it uses for combat trauma training exercises. The military's medical school made the switch in 2013 and now trains future military physicians without using animals. Many trauma centers in the Army, Air Force, and Navy use only simulators. And as of Jan. 1, Advanced Trauma Life Support courses across the U.S. military were no longer allowed to use animals.

These simulators include the Cut Suit, which was specifically designed for combat trauma training and replicates the experience of performing emergency medical procedures on a living patient. They also allow trainees to practice procedures repeatedly until they get them right--saving money in the long-term. 

We must ensure that the men and women we send into harm's way for our country receive the best medical care possible. The BEST Practices Act will achieve that goal by modernizing our nation's military medical training to improve troop safety, save animals, and save taxpayer money. Please co-sponsor the BEST Practices Act to ensure that we are providing our service members with training methods that are both educationally and ethically superior.

Jana Harker
55 East  700 South  #31
Saint George, UT