Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Leona Helmsley's Fortune Goes to Medical Research

Yesterday I read about how Leona Helmsley’s estate was divided up. Over $100 million went to medical research while about $1 million went to animal welfare causes. (Actually, less than $1 million dollars went to animal welfare because a portion went to guide dog associations and that is human welfare as far as I’m concerned.)

Originally, animal groups actually thought they’d get a huge piece of the estate because Leona Helmsley had supposedly wanted it that way. But a group of trustees got together, determined she was mentally unfit at the time, and decided to “responsibly” donate to medical research instead. To human causes.

I think that just sucks. (I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this, but whatever.)

It’s more money for medical research. I wonder how much of this wonderful research will involve animal experimentation, the absolute anti-animal welfare cause. Beyond that, it’s more money for more humans to make more money. I believe that medical research produces procedures and drugs that most humans either 1) can’t afford or 2) pay for and end up with huge medical debts. If medical research were truly for altruistic purposes, then drug costs would be subsidized and university research would not constantly find its way into for-profit entities who patent their findings with the FDA.

The majority of children die in the world due to simple causes, like malnutrition, infection and diarrhea. How much malaria could be prevented by basic mosquito control? Better living conditions and basic health care workers would be enough to prevent so much death and suffering. But we don’t want to promote that. Instead, we promote drug development to take care of people once they’re ill…that’s the way to more profit both in this country and overseas.

I am so tired of hearing that medical research saves lives as though that should end all arguments. If you don’t support medical research, then you are against humans. That’s just an argumentative device to shut down debate.

1 comment:

Andrew said...


I can certainly understand your frustration here.

Generally speaking, I fully support medical research, but I share your sentiments at the argument that medical research is good for the human race just being brandished around so much.

If greater allocation of money toward animal welfare represented the genuine wish of Mrs. Helmsley, then the trustees should have shown respect for her wishes.

If they did not respect her wishes, then you are right on in saying that it sucks.

You certainly won't get in trouble for it, and on your blog, you have every right to say what you want.

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