Comments on the dilemma in the April issue: Euthanasing treatable patients

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Abstract

In the dilemma discussed in the April issue of In Practice, a recently employed veterinary surgeon is informed by their employer that the practice has a policy of only euthanasing patients who are terminally ill and suffering; it will not kill healthy or treatable patients. While the veterinary surgeon believes the policy is sincerely held, they wonder if it is fair. Does the practice's policy infringe on the veterinary surgeon's moral choice, and should he challenge it? (IP, April 2017, vol 39, pp 190-191). Simon Coghlan suggested that the veterinary surgeon was entitled to discuss their moral concerns with the employer. This discussion may foster mutual understanding, and even improve the policy and details of its implementation. He also suggested that the employer should have informed the veterinary surgeon before they began work at the practice, to show greater respect for the veterinary surgeon's moral autonomy.

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