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Veterinary Ethics: Navigating Tough Cases


468 in stock

Anne Fawcett, Siobhan Mullan


What should a vet do when a client can’t pay for their animal’s treatment? Or when asked their opinion on the killing of wildlife for disease control? Or when observing an animal welfare problem whilst off duty?

Ethical problems are an everyday part of life for veterinarians but it can be difficult to combine personal values with professional conduct. Veterinary Ethics presents a range of ethical scenarios that veterinarians and other allied animal health professionals may face in practice. The scenarios discussed are not only exceptional cases with potentially significant consequences, but often less dramatic everyday situations.

The responses to these ethical problems are from practising veterinarians and acknowledged world experts in animal welfare and ethics. The advice given is thorough and detailed, covering different eventualities, the ethical knots and dilemmas, the personal feelings of those involved as well as objective recommendations on ethical decision making and, where relevant, guidance from veterinary governing bodies and the law. The advice is framed in the form of veterinary life in the real world, not necessarily an ideal world.

As well as practical guidance the book takes a step back and explores the different philosophical arguments and standpoints and the resultant solutions and problems of each approach, examining the background and relationship between different philosophical schools of thought, ethics and veterinary care. The book strives to present decision making in response to ethical problems as transparently as possible, employing a range of ethical frameworks.

The book also challenges the reader about their own decision making in given situations, what factors to consider and how they would achieve certain outcomes.

Dr. Siobhan Mullan teaches ethical decision-making to veterinary undergraduates and in 2006 she started the Everyday Ethics column for practitioners in the journal In Practice. Her research interests at the University of Bristol are focused on welfare assessment and routes to welfare improvement for a range of farmed and companion animals. She is a founder member of the European College for veterinary specialists in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law.

Dr. Anne Quain works in private companion animal practice and lectures in veterinary ethics and professional practice at the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland. She also works as a journalist, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Veterinarian magazine.

Additional information

ISBN 9781910455685
Product type PB
Publication date 24-May-17
Dimensions 246 × 172 mm
Product options

eBook (ePub), eBook (pdf), Print version

4 reviews for Veterinary Ethics: Navigating Tough Cases

  1. Kate Knutson, JAVMA

    I cannot think of anyone involved in the veterinary profession who does not need Veterinary Ethics: Navigating Tough Cases in their medical armamentarium. With it, readers will understand the richness of ethics, the various theories that can be applied to individual cases, and how to determine best outcomes by use of logical reasoning rather than black-and-white arguments… I highly recommend this as a foundational book for all those involved in veterinary health care. The robustness of the information presented gives readers an awareness of the ethical underpinnings associated with the decisions veterinarians commonly make on a daily basis. I also recommend this book as required reading for all veterinary students.

  2. Vet Record

    ‘… a fascinating, page-turning read that leaves one pondering things for days after… Overall, this is an excellent book that deserves a central place on practice shelves and undergraduate curricula… It behoves us as a compassionate profession to be as informed about ethics as about other areas of practice; this book will assist immensely in this regard.’

  3. Jonathan Balcombe, Journal of Animal Ethics

    Veterinary Ethics is well worth the price of admission. If I were a practicing veterinarian, I would certainly want to have a copy as a valuable reference.

  4. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science

    ‘This thought-provoking textbook on veterinary ethics is a refreshing take on issues that plague the
    veterinary profession. This book is different from other texts on veterinary ethics; no other text is
    quite as comprehensive, contemporary, or engaging. Veterinarians, students, educators, hospital, support staff, ethicists, and affiliated animal health professionals will benefit from this well-written resource. While practicing veterinarians may feel they do not need this book because they already have established personal opinions on ethical dilemmas, they will still find this book very relevant with alternative perspectives and compelling arguments that may not been considered previously… The authors have done an outstanding job of transforming the subject of ethics, which to many, can be bland, boring, and philosophical, into a subject that is valuable, compelling, and practical. This book should be an essential text for any veterinary ethics courses and is an excellent read for anyone in the field.’ – Zenithson Ng, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science

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