Preprint Article Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

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

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. Treatment, Palliative Care or Euthanasia? Comparing End of Life Issues in Veterinary and Human Medicine. Preprints 2017, 2017080094 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0094.v2). Eyre-Pugh, R.E. Treatment, Palliative Care or Euthanasia? Comparing End of Life Issues in Veterinary and Human Medicine. Preprints 2017, 2017080094 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0094.v2).

Abstract

This is the second of a series of two papers comparing the end of life issues in human and veterinary medicine. We outline the main differences between human and animal patients such as patient communication, finance and ‘conflicts of interest’ between animal, owner and veterinarian. We discuss 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. This paper takes the form of an ethical argument in favour of allowing euthanasia in human medicine, by providing insights into end of life issues for humans from an independent veterinary perspective. Veterinary surgeons are well trained in the ethics of euthanasia and put it to good use 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 face a slow and agonizing death. 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.

Subject Areas

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

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