Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Treatment, Palliative Care or Euthanasia? Comparing End of Life Issues in Veterinary and Human

Version 1 : Received: 25 August 2017 / Approved: 27 August 2017 / Online: 27 August 2017 (11:31:12 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 1 December 2017 / Approved: 1 December 2017 / Online: 1 December 2017 (16:58:27 CET)

How to cite: Eyre-Pugh, R.E.; Yeates, J.W. Treatment, Palliative Care or Euthanasia? Comparing End of Life Issues in Veterinary and Human. Preprints 2017, 2017080094 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0094.v1). Eyre-Pugh, R.E.; Yeates, J.W. Treatment, Palliative Care or Euthanasia? Comparing End of Life Issues in Veterinary and Human. Preprints 2017, 2017080094 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0094.v1).

Abstract

This is the second part of a series of two papers comparing the end of life issues in human and veterinary medicine. This paper adds to the review with additional new references, taking the form of an ethical argument from an independent veterinary perspective. There are some fundamental differences outlined such as patient communication, finance and ‘conflicts of interest’ between animal, owner and veterinarian but many striking similarities between human and veterinary issues such as assessing quality of life and the primary role of the attending veterinarian or doctor being the welfare and care of the patient. Clinical veterinarians are well trained in the ethics of euthanasia and are experienced in its use on a daily basis in the best interest of their animal patients. Doctors in the UK are limited and unwilling to put forward a case for the option of euthanasia for those patients who could face a slow and agonizing death due to refractory symptoms. With advances in medical science being able to significantly prolong the dying process, autonomy for the patient demands a review of the law regarding patient choice in the UK at the end of life.

Subject Areas

euthanasia; veterinary ethics; medical ethics; end-of-life; assisted suicide; palliative care; assisted dying; moral stress

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