Bob Barker may be nearing his ninth decade, but the former "Price is Right" host certainly isn't letting age slow him down.
After learning that officials at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) are still subjecting live cats to cruel and atiquated pediatric intubation exercises for medical students, Barker decided to step in and do something about it. In a letter to officials, the 89-year-old offered $75,000 of his own money to fund new state-of-the-art pediatric simulators to be used in place of the cats.
"I would like to donate two ultra-realistic infant simulators to WUSTL to be used in place of the two cats intubated during each PALS course so as to facilitate the transition to an all simulation PALS curriculum," he writes. "Two of either of these simulators will cost approximately $75,000. It would be my pleasure to cover the cost in order to enhance your training programs and spare the cats now housed in your facility. In fact, I would love to provide homes for the nine cats held at WUSTL for this training, too."
Barker adds that studies have shown students using the infant simulators substantially improved intubation skills; in particular because the devices faithfully replicate human infant anatomy and physiology.
"I hope we can work together to protect animals and improve the training of those responsible for performing life-saving medical procedures on sick and injured children," he wrote.
As PETA notes, there's every reason to believe that Barker's offer will have an impact. Following a plea from Bob last year, the University of Virginia announced that it was suspending its own cat intubation procedures in favor of simulators. Let's see if WUSTL can follow suit.
To send your own letter to the university urging officials to drop the cruel practice, hit PETA's official petition site here.
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