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Although veterinarians encounter ethical challenges in their everyday practice, few studies have examined how they make sense of and respond to them. This research used semi-structured interviews and a qualitative methodology (phenomenological and constructivist/interpretivist approaches) to explore ethical challenges experienced by seven small animal city veterinarians and their ethical decision-making strategies. Thematic analysis of the interview transcripts identified four broad ethical issues: The first concerned disagreements about the best interests of the animal; the second centered on clinical uncertainty about the most appropriate treatment for the animal; the third involved factors influencing ethical reasoning and decision making; and the fourth concerned how ethics education might prepare veterinary students for future ethical decision making. An overarching theme identified in the analysis was one of enormous personal distress. Furthermore, a sense of veterinarians being interested in how others might think and feel about ethical challenges came through in the data. The results give insight into how veterinarians experience and respond to ethical challenges. The research also provides empirical information about everyday practice to inform future education in ethics and ethical decision making for veterinary students.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of veterinary medical education
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The use of systematic methods of ethical examination, such as CASUISTRY or ETHICAL THEORY, in reasoning about moral problems.
A school of thought and set of moral, ethical, and political teachings usually considered to be founded by Confucius in 6th-5th century B.C. China. (from Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1995)
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A psychological theory based on dimensions or categories used by a given person in describing or explaining the personality and behavior of others or of himself. The basic idea is that different people will use consistently different categories. The theory was formulated in the fifties by George Kelly. Two tests devised by him are the role construct repertory test and the repertory grid test. (From Stuart Sutherland, The International Dictionary of Psychology, 1989)
A view of the world and the individual's environment as comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful, claiming that the way people view their life has a positive influence on their health.
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