Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Animals (Basel). 2019 Jan 30;9(2). pii: E44. doi: 10.3390/ani9020044.

Austrian Veterinarians' Attitudes to Euthanasia in Equine Practice.

Author information

1
Unit of Ethics and Human-Animal-Studies, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria. Svenja.Springer@vetmeduni.ac.at.
2
University Equine Hospital, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria. Florien.Jenner@vetmeduni.ac.at.
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria. Alexander.Tichy@vetmeduni.ac.at.
4
Unit of Ethics and Human-Animal-Studies, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria. Herwig.Grimm@vetmeduni.ac.at.

Abstract

Euthanasia of companion animals is a challenging responsibility in the veterinary profession since veterinarians have to consider not only medical, but also legal, economic, emotional, social, and ethical factors in decision-making. To this end; an anonymous questionnaire-based survey of Austrian equine veterinarians examines the attitudes to the euthanasia of equine patients in a range of scenarios; to identify factors which may influence decisions on the ending of a horse's life. This paper describes the distributions of demographic and attitude variables. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to test the associations of gender, work experience, and equine workload with attitudes in relation to euthanasia statements and case scenarios. In total, 64 respondents (response rate = 23.4%) completed the questionnaire. The study showed that veterinarians consider contextual and relational factors in their decision-making. They are aware of owners' emotional bonds with their horses and financial background, however, requests for convenience euthanasia are typically rejected. Although some significant differences between the tested variables emerged, the attitudes of the veterinarians were shown to be largely shared. In conclusion, veterinarians are aware of the multiple factors that influence their decision-making and gave indications as to the weight of animal- and owner-related factors in the handling of euthanasia.

KEYWORDS:

equine veterinary medicine; euthanasia; questionnaire-based survey; veterinary medical ethics

PMID:
30704140
DOI:
10.3390/ani9020044
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Loading ...
Support Center