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Abstract

The prevalence of antibiotic resistant microbes has led to a call for new antibiotics development. Due to the irresponsible practices of the medical community in prescribing antibiotics, much of the demand for new antibiotics is suspect. I argue that the social contract, which properly includes human relationships with laboratory animals, requires a conservative attitude toward new antibiotics development. This attitude places limits on the justificatory role of demand in determining whether a particular research project meets the conditions for morally justified research, as defined by Rollin’s utilitarian principle.