Bob Barker Offers To Buy Mannequins For University Program

Bob Barker has offered to buy mannequins for a university that uses live cats for its medical training program.

The former Price is Right host said he would gladly donate $75,000 to replace the animals with infant simulator mannequins. Instead of using the felines, Barker is hoping the folks at Washington University in St. Louis will consider a more humane alternative.

Bob Barker sent a letter to Chancellor Mark Wrighton regarding the cats used in the school’s infant life support course. He described the program’s use of felines as “old fashioned.” Barker added that he hopes the university will take him up on the mannequin offer.

“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.

Barker explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he hopes Washington University will “stop and join the rest of the party and use simulators.”

He added, “I do all I possibly can for animals because they need all the help we can give them.”

However, St. Louis Children’s Hospital pediatrician Bob Kennedy said the simulator mannequins are not a suitable alternative to the animals used in the training course. He said using live cats is the best way teach students how to save an infant’s life.

Kennedy explained:

“[Doctors and nurses] need to learn how to secure the airway of these babies by threading this plastic tube through the windpipe. The technique is a skill that takes a fair amount of practice to master. They need to learn to coordinate breathing with the insertion of the tube. The mannequins are nowhere close to being realistic along these lines.”

The pediatrician also explained that the cats are properly cared for at the university. He added that none of the felines have been injured in 20 years.

What do you think about Bob Barker offering to buy infant simulator mannequins for Washington University? Do you think they are a suitable alternative to live cats?

[Image via s_bukley /]