Ethical Decision Making ... what would you do?

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IluvABbeef

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i found an exercise that i was given by my An Sci 200 prof called "Ethical Decision Making" and the intro is this:

"'Perhaps the most difficult moral problem that confronts veterinarians today concerns the vet's obligation to the animal. Whereas all the other moral tugs--obligations to the client, peers, society and self--are pretty clearly outlined in the social ethic, the question of one's duties towards animals has been virtually ignored by society and by the consensus social ethic until very recently... The fundamental question of veterinary ethics amounts to this: Does the vet have primary allegiance to client or animal?'"

The cases on this excercise are real good, and I mean all of them, and I'm having a hard time choosing which one is the best... Besides, all of them are from a number of vets' experiences, definately not fiction; "as you read the following cases (okay, I'll put two :roll: ) and assess what you would do, try to think creatively. Maybe the glass is 'half-empty' or maybe it's 'half-full.' Or maybe you just have the wrong size glass! :shock: "

Here they are:

1. A woman brings you her five-year-old cocker spaniel for euthanasia. She is not a regular client of yours, and you aks why she wants the animal destroyed. She says she is moving in to an apartment with her boyfriend, he doesn't like the dog, and pets are not allowed in the apartment building. You ask if she has tried to put the dog up for adoption and she replies it is none of your own business. She simply wants the dog humanely destroyed, and of you don't euthanize it, her boyfriend will shoot it.

Is it ethically correct for you to euthanize the dog?


2. You are called to a five-hundred sow farrow-to-finish swine operation to examine a problem with vaginal discharges in a sow. There are three full-time employers and one manager overseeing approximately five thousand animals. As you examine several sows in the crated gestation unit, you notice one with a hind leg at an unusual angle and inquire about her status. You are told. "She broke her leg yesterday, and she's due to farrow next week. We'll let her farrow in here, and then we'll shoot her and foster off her pigs."

Is it ethically correct to leave the sow with a broken leg for one week while you await her farrowing?


Darn good questions, eh? I'd like to see some good arguments happening... ;-) ;-)

Oh and if anybody wants to know what the other cases are, well, you know what to do... :D

Karin
 

msscamp

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IluvABbeef":35mbs494 said:
1. A woman brings you her five-year-old cocker spaniel for euthanasia. She is not a regular client of yours, and you aks why she wants the animal destroyed. She says she is moving in to an apartment with her boyfriend, he doesn't like the dog, and pets are not allowed in the apartment building. You ask if she has tried to put the dog up for adoption and she replies it is none of your own business. She simply wants the dog humanely destroyed, and of you don't euthanize it, her boyfriend will shoot it.

Is it ethically correct for you to euthanize the dog?

Given the choice between a painless euthanization and her boyfriend shooting it, I would have to say I would euthanize the dog.


2. You are called to a five-hundred sow farrow-to-finish swine operation to examine a problem with vaginal discharges in a sow. There are three full-time employers and one manager overseeing approximately five thousand animals. As you examine several sows in the crated gestation unit, you notice one with a hind leg at an unusual angle and inquire about her status. You are told. "She broke her leg yesterday, and she's due to farrow next week. We'll let her farrow in here, and then we'll shoot her and foster off her pigs."

Is it ethically correct to leave the sow with a broken leg for one week while you await her farrowing?

No, I don't think so. That's just cruel and causes unneeded suffering.



Oh and if anybody wants to know what the other cases are, well, you know what to do... :D

Yes, I would like to know what the other cases are if you don't mind. Thanks!

Karin
 

Bez!

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IluvABbeef":q6juna65 said:
i found an exercise that i was given by my An Sci 200 prof called "Ethical Decision Making" and the intro is this:

"'Perhaps the most difficult moral problem that confronts veterinarians today concerns the vet's obligation to the animal. Whereas all the other moral tugs--obligations to the client, peers, society and self--are pretty clearly outlined in the social ethic, the question of one's duties towards animals has been virtually ignored by society and by the consensus social ethic until very recently... The fundamental question of veterinary ethics amounts to this: Does the vet have primary allegiance to client or animal?'"

The cases on this excercise are real good, and I mean all of them, and I'm having a hard time choosing which one is the best... Besides, all of them are from a number of vets' experiences, definately not fiction; "as you read the following cases (okay, I'll put two :roll: ) and assess what you would do, try to think creatively. Maybe the glass is 'half-empty' or maybe it's 'half-full.' Or maybe you just have the wrong size glass! :shock: "

Here they are:

1. A woman brings you her five-year-old cocker spaniel for euthanasia. She is not a regular client of yours, and you aks why she wants the animal destroyed. She says she is moving in to an apartment with her boyfriend, he doesn't like the dog, and pets are not allowed in the apartment building. You ask if she has tried to put the dog up for adoption and she replies it is none of your own business. She simply wants the dog humanely destroyed, and of you don't euthanize it, her boyfriend will shoot it.

Is it ethically correct for you to euthanize the dog?


2. You are called to a five-hundred sow farrow-to-finish swine operation to examine a problem with vaginal discharges in a sow. There are three full-time employers and one manager overseeing approximately five thousand animals. As you examine several sows in the crated gestation unit, you notice one with a hind leg at an unusual angle and inquire about her status. You are told. "She broke her leg yesterday, and she's due to farrow next week. We'll let her farrow in here, and then we'll shoot her and foster off her pigs."

Is it ethically correct to leave the sow with a broken leg for one week while you await her farrowing?


Darn good questions, eh? I'd like to see some good arguments happening... ;-) ;-)

Oh and if anybody wants to know what the other cases are, well, you know what to do... :D

Karin

Hey Karin

The fundamental question of veterinary ethics amounts to this: Does the vet have primary allegiance to client or animal?'"

Well, I look at it differently. My immediate response - albeit with little thought put into it is somewhat different.

"Can I look in the mirror and say I did the right thing?"

Screw the allegiance thing. Now that I am an old grey haired fat guy - at the end of the day I have to feel good about what I did that day. Otherwise I am not a happy camper. So I do what I believe is right. Until my wife, one or both of my daughters tells me otherwise. :lol:

I have killed a lot of animals in my day - and I do mean a lot. Many of them under circumstances that would have caused me legal probs. I am a good boy now. But .....

In case one:

I personally would tell her to go somewhere else. Time to give the woman some advice - she should grow up and action her responsibilities. I no longer kill gratuitously - even if I am paid for it.

In case two:

You did not mention whether or not this animal was under medication for pain and treatment for the broken leg.

I understand the financial aspects and am not prepared to get into the reasons why I see a difference. It is simply the way I look at things and how I view what I did over the length of any day. I never have and never will stand by and see an animal hurt - and not treated - just for money.

Under the circumstances and being time limited - I would further fact find, probably work to fix it somehow - or call in the law if prevented from assisting.

That should start stuff off for you. There are no right or wrong answers here - as I am sure you know.

Do not go into the cute dog and ugly pig thing - I would drop one as fast as the other and think nothing of it under the correct circumstance.

MY correct circumstance. Which by the way, might very easily differ from yours.

Regards,

Bez!
 

Susie David

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The decisions that I have made during the course of my life regarding "ethical" treatment of animals has changed as I have become a more seasoned traveler on life's pathway. I no longer hunt for sport, I no longer have the energy or desire to kill a deer or elk when we grow beef. I love to fish and do go hunting with my cronies, I'm camp cook. I still shoot coyotes and will kill a dog chasing cows with no second thought. I have grown up in an environment where animals had a purpose, whether it was food as our beef is, service as are our cow dogs, or pets as our grand kids dog; but they are animals.
I really hate to read about the person who swerves their car to avoid a animal in the road and ends up killing the family.
Ethical is what you can go to bed with knowing that you did no harm that day...whether it be man or animal.
Dave Mc
 
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IluvABbeef

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I forgot to add "explain why" do you or do you not think it ethical, etc. ;-)

Okay, here are the other four cases:

3. You examine a cow in late pregnancy that has keratoconjuctivitis [inflammation of the cornea and conjuctiva (don't ask)], blespharospasm [squinting], and photophobia [light sensitvity] due to an ocular squamous call carcinoma [caner eye]. You recommend enucleation [surgical removal of the eye and surrounding tissue] or immediate slaughter [the entire carcass would not likely to be condemned by the inspector--only the head and local lymph nodes]. The owner wants to allow the cow to calve, wean the calf, and then ship the cow. He does not want to invest in surgery for a cow soon to calve.

Is it ethically correct for the cow to be left untreated for several months?


4. You examine a lamb for anorexia on a small farm you visit once or twice a year. It weighs 35kg (I think that's 20 lbs.), is emanciated, covered in sheep keds, and pregnant. There are approximately twenty other sheep on the farm in a similar state of ill health. The owner wants you to treat only the "sick" lamb. Despite [your] repeated suggestions over the years, the quality of animal husbandry on the sick farm has not improved.

Is it ethically correct to do a the farmer wishes and leave his sheep flock to a substandard level of husbandry?


5. One of your dairy producers has a probelm with mastitis and high bulk somatic cell counts (SCCs). He has read in Hoard's Dairyman that veterinarians in the United States dock tails on dairy cows with elastrator bands to decrease teat contamination with enviromental bacteria. Veterinarians in you neighbouring practice als advocte this procedure. You local dairy specialist assures you that there are no controlled trials to show that docking tails reduces SCCs. Tail docking is not without risk. Complications include reduced milk production following the procedure, and [occasionally] deaths due to infection and tetanus. The producer is convinced that tail docking will solve his mastitis problems. He will find a veterinarian who will do it if you will not. You do not want to lose this client.

Is it ethically correct to perform this procedure for your client?


6. You provide routine herd health services to a five-hundred sow farrow-to-finish swine operation. Over the last several years [you have noticed that] the air quality in the buildings has deteriorated markedly. Several employees (all smokers) complain to you that despite wearing paper masks, they are coughing and wheezing excessively. Pig health and performace are above average and have not been affected by the deteriorating air quality. The absentee owner saus that current profit margins prohibit investing in a new ventilation system, especially when performance is satisfactory. He reminds you that if these employees are so worried about their health, they should quit smoking. He recommneds you that you concentrate on the health of the pigs if you want to keep his account. [The account is worth in excess of $7500 revenue per year to your practice.]

Should you take his advice?


These six cases are from:
Rollin, Bernard E. (1999). An Introduction to Veterinary Medical Ethics: Theory and Cases. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press.
Not listed in numerical order as I have numbered them.
Git those opinions goin!!!!! :D
 
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IluvABbeef

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Bez!: The cases i was copying this stuff off of made no mention if the animal was under medication for pain or anything like that, and I was wonder why too. So I assume that the pig was not even treated. Don't quote me on it though.
 

Susie David

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As perviously stated....it's what you as a person can take to bed at night.
The philosophical examination of what is or is not ethical is governed by social convention of the society that it is practiced in. The choice is the free will decision of the individual. This question and examples will vary with geography, social condition as well as the age, experience, spirtual orientation and education of the individual. To many variables to pose an accurate evaluation....a good exercise to allow the student to examine one's own values.
First rule...do no harm...
DMc
 

msscamp

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IluvABbeef":7754pu08 said:
Bez!: The cases i was copying this stuff off of made no mention if the animal was under medication for pain or anything like that, and I was wonder why too. So I assume that the pig was not even treated. Don't quote me on it though.

Given the fact that these are actual scenarios, I would be willing to bet that there was no pain medication or treatment of any kind involved - anyone with that callous of an attitude would probably not give a thought to whether the animal is suffering or not.
 
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IluvABbeef

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msscamp":bbmlbvkp said:
IluvABbeef":bbmlbvkp said:
Bez!: The cases i was copying this stuff off of made no mention if the animal was under medication for pain or anything like that, and I was wonder why too. So I assume that the pig was not even treated. Don't quote me on it though.

Given the fact that these are actual scenarios, I would be willing to bet that there was no pain medication or treatment of any kind involved - anyone with that callous of an attitude would probably not give a thought to whether the animal is suffering or not.

You said it!
 

Bez!

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One Kilo = 2.24 pounds
35 Kilos = 78.4 pounds

I wonder if we are doing her homework assignments as well?

;-)

Bez!
 

cypressfarms

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Bez!":3gsun5o1 said:
One Kilo = 2.24 pounds
35 Kilos = 78.4 pounds

I wonder if we are doing her homework assignments as well?

;-)

Bez!

Oooooh Bez, can't resist. A kg is 2.2045 pounds.
I work at a Taiwanese owned plastic plant and have to convert back and forth many times a day, hence the anal reply ;-)
 

Bez!

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cypressfarms":2ow2lsm1 said:
Bez!":2ow2lsm1 said:
One Kilo = 2.24 pounds
35 Kilos = 78.4 pounds

I wonder if we are doing her homework assignments as well?

;-)

Bez!

Oooooh Bez, can't resist. A kg is 2.2045 pounds.
I work at a Taiwanese owned plastic plant and have to convert back and forth many times a day, hence the anal reply ;-)

:lol: :lol:

I missed out in typing the "0" and carried the mistake forward.

:oops:

I will take that licking with your wooden spoon - just to show I am a man when it comes to taking the punishment I darned well deserve.

I bow to you.

:p :p :p

Bez!
 

Vicky the vet

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Well, since these are issues that I literally have to deal with, you can judge MY ethics.

1. Refuse to euthanize. Offer to place the dog instead. If verbally abused (and this commonly happens) mention that maybe the boyfriend will do that to her since animal abuse is tied to spousal abuse....yes, I can be blunt.

2. Offer the sow pain meds if visibly painful else induce parturition to help her out of pain and give them their darn piglets--they could easily be aborted from her pain anyway.

3. Patch the cow's eye with medication underneath, get her to 8.5 months pregnancy, induce parturition and let the calf nurse for a couple of months, cull her. Ensure the cow is not painful.

4. Poor husbandry and no listening to logic--get a new vet. Sorry, I'm not beating my head against a wall any longer.

5. Docking tails is not humane if done without sterility and anesthesia. If the owner insists, I would do a few with proper surgical technique and an epidural. He would then be able to test his hypothesis. If he doesn't agree to proper technique, he can go the way of the sheep guy.

6. Poor ventilation will be depriving the absentee owner of money in the very near future. I would calculate the loss, present it to him and then give him the options. A bit of money now, a lot of money TO ME in the near future. His choice. That tends to work.

Now, am I ethical?
 

Bez!

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Vicky the vet":1ecadphz said:
Well, since these are issues that I literally have to deal with, you can judge MY ethics.

1. Refuse to euthanize. Offer to place the dog instead. If verbally abused (and this commonly happens) mention that maybe the boyfriend will do that to her since animal abuse is tied to spousal abuse....yes, I can be blunt.

2. Offer the sow pain meds if visibly painful else induce parturition to help her out of pain and give them their darn piglets--they could easily be aborted from her pain anyway.

3. Patch the cow's eye with medication underneath, get her to 8.5 months pregnancy, induce parturition and let the calf nurse for a couple of months, cull her. Ensure the cow is not painful.

4. Poor husbandry and no listening to logic--get a new vet. Sorry, I'm not beating my head against a wall any longer.

5. Docking tails is not humane if done without sterility and anesthesia. If the owner insists, I would do a few with proper surgical technique and an epidural. He would then be able to test his hypothesis. If he doesn't agree to proper technique, he can go the way of the sheep guy.

6. Poor ventilation will be depriving the absentee owner of money in the very near future. I would calculate the loss, present it to him and then give him the options. A bit of money now, a lot of money TO ME in the near future. His choice. That tends to work.

Now, am I ethical?

Actually Vicky - I would have expected you to be as you wrote - and I always figured you to be ethical.

I might add we agree on the issues above.

Some day - since I do not live far from you - I am going to hunt you down and buy you a coffee. Have a good one.

Regards,

Bez!
 

rkm

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Not only ethical, but pretty durn smart for a vet. Just kidding Vicky. :D :D After all it is April fools day.
 

Victoria

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1) Euthanize the dog. Ethical treatment of animals means not letting them suffer. We quickly kill animals everyday, it is a shame that the dog doesn't have a better owner but at least she is not taking the dog to the country to drop it off. I guess I see to much of that.

2) Explain that the pain the pig is suffering will probably cause the pig to abort. Find the money aspect if that is all the people care about as a way to get the pig some drugs for pain. I'd even suggest that she was in pain and it might be better to put her down now. Probably wouldn't do again good but I'd try.

3) I'm not a vet but medication to keep the cow without pain and some sort of patch (?) and I'd leave her alive. The key is pain free.

4) No it is not ethical and if the owner wants to starve his animals to death I'd make a call to the proper authorities.

5) I am presuming that I've given the producer all of the information already and he won't listen. I wouldn't do it. A vet's oath is to relieve animals suffering - not cause it needlessly.

6) Obviously the owner could care less about the pigs, only about the dollar so it explain it to him in that way. Show him how air quality will affect his production. If he still won't listen then wait for the first sick pig and remind him of what you said.

Just read where you said explain why so am adding on to my post. My vet in his clinic has up the Veterinary oath one part of it says: "I will strive to promote animal health and welfare, relieve animal suffering"
I tried to answer the questions based on that. It is a vet's job to relieve animal suffereing not to make the owner's feel good. If I ran into clients who were treating animals inhumanely and wouldn't let me help I'd turn them in in a heartbeat.
 
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IluvABbeef

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Bez!":2otn6hnk said:
One Kilo = 2.24 pounds
35 Kilos = 78.4 pounds

I wonder if we are doing her homework assignments as well?

;-)

Bez!

Don't worry about doing my homework assignments Bez! I just put this thing on because I was dying of curiosity to see what sort of views to this stuff are out there. Remember that saying? "Curiousity killed the cat and satisfaction brought it back!" Not that I'm killed just yet ( ;-) ). nor am I entirely satisfied!! But thanks for the mathematical correction, anyways. :lol:

Karin

P.S: This is no April Fool's joke!!! Mark my words!!!!
 

TheLazyM

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i think the only ethical thing that the vet has is to do all they can that the person lets them do even if it means telling them theres no hope. the vet is the tool, nothing more. although the vet has the right to refuse to work for anybody. you can't do to somebodies animal that they dont want you to so ethics is out of you hand.
Case 1 i would put the dog to sleep after that might not have been her worst decision moving in with that might have been. theres a great chance the dog would have became a stray or even worse.....
Case 2 i ask if i could have the pig and i would give the piglets back or try to buy the pig if i could'nt would'nt worry about it cause theres nothing i can do. if i was in a state that has laws on this sorta stuff i might call someone up. but if you get rep of calling on people that has things you dont like you might end up out of busness.
Cases 3 & 4 what ever the farmer wanted.
Case 5 i would make apoint that i was not liable for whatever happened to the animals after the docking.
Case 6 i would be thinking about if my health was at risk coming to the farm, if i was'nt then i'd make my $7500.....

Before an animal on my place goes untreated if it cant be treated or would cost more than i can afford i'll kill it. i dont expect nobody else to do my chores.
 

cfpinz

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#1 Recently happened with a cat at the vet's office my wife works at. They now have a new office kitty. I would have liked to have him to put in the barn but he was declawed and used to a house. (Can you tell my wife likes to bring animals home?) :shock:

cfpinz
 

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