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Strong patient advocacy and the fundamental ethical role of veterinarians

Coghlan, Simon 2018, Strong patient advocacy and the fundamental ethical role of veterinarians, Journal of agricultural and environmental ethics, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 349-367, doi: 10.1007/s10806-018-9729-4.

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Title Strong patient advocacy and the fundamental ethical role of veterinarians
Author(s) Coghlan, SimonORCID iD for Coghlan, Simon orcid.org/0000-0002-6021-9878
Journal name Journal of agricultural and environmental ethics
Volume number 31
Issue number 3
Start page 349
End page 367
Total pages 19
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publication date 2018-06
ISSN 1187-7863
1573-322X
Keyword(s) veterinary ethics
patient advocacy
pediatric ethics
fiduciary duty
animal welfare
medical ethics
science & technology
social sciences
arts & humanities
life sciences & biomedicine
agriculture, multidisciplinary
ethics
environmental sciences
history & philosophy of science
agriculture
environmental sciences & ecology
Summary This essay examines the fundamental role of veterinarians in companion animal practice by developing the idea of veterinarians as strong advocates for their nonhuman animal patients. While the practitioner-patient relationship has been explored extensively in medical ethics, the relation between practitioner and animal patient has received relatively less attention in the expanding but still young field of veterinary ethics. Over recent decades, social and professional ethical perspectives on human-animal relationships have undergone major change. Today, the essential role of veterinarians is not entirely clear. Furthermore, veterinarians routinely face pressure, often insidious, to refrain from pursuing their patients’ vital interests. In exploring the concept of strong patient advocacy, this essay investigates the increasingly common suggestion that veterinarians have ‘primary obligation’ and ‘first allegiance’ to their animal patients rather than to other parties, such as their clients or employers. The related concept of a fiduciary duty, which is sometimes encountered in medical ethics, is similarly explored as it applies to companion animal practice. The resultant idea of a strong patient advocate places companion animal veterinarians conceptually and ethically close to human health professionals, not least pediatricians.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10806-018-9729-4
Field of Research 2201 Applied Ethics
2203 Philosophy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30110134

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.