Order #355634- Emotional Impact of Euthanasia.docx -...

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Running head: EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF EUTHANASIA1Emotional Impact of Euthanasia on Animal Care ProfessionalsNameInstitutional Affiliation
EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF EUTHANASIA2Introduction. Performing euthanasia on animals is part and parcel of a veterinarian’s life. Not becausethey wish to, but in most circumstances, euthanasia is the only viable options. Just like humanbeings, animals too suffer from incurable or painful illnesses, and the ideal way to end thesuffering is allowing it to die. The death of the animal severs any physical connection to humanbeings and provides for the process of grief. However, after euthanasia of a pet or any otheranimal, most people would automatically assume that the only aggrieved party is the animal'sowner or caregiver. More often than not, the veterinarian involved in the euthanasia is notconsidered as an interested entity, As a matter of fact, veterinarians are required by training toaddress the needs of the animal's owner, while there is no mention on how their emotional needsare addressed. However, veterinarians play a considerable role in the life and death of theseanimals, and for that reason, they are also significantly affected. By nature, veterinarians loveanimals. In addition to that, they are trained to care for, treat an protect these animals and a shiftaway from these fundamental values held close to the heart is bound to have significant effectson the veterinarian. The impact of euthanasia on practitioners is an area that is grosslyunderexplored but needs excellent attention. Because all personnel, especially veterinariansworking with animals develop relationships with them, it is essential to determine the impact ofthese relationships including the effect experienced when euthanasia sever the connectionAccording to a study conducted by Scotney, McLaughlin and Keates (2015), numerousstudies done on animal shelter workers, veterinary nurses and technicians, animal trialbiomedical researchers and personnel in other animal-related fields revealed that there is asignificantly higher level of occupational stress experienced by that personnel directly involvedin euthanasia. The results of that study were almost replicated by Hartnack, Springer, Pittavino &Grim (2016) who that veterinarians directly involved with euthanasia experienced higher levelsof moral stress. The stress experienced may not be directly as a result of the loss of the animal,instead, by a chain of circumstances that do not give veterinarians and other personnel theopportunity to properly and adequately grieve, thus letting go of the pain. In addition to that,very little is known about the strategies veterinarians can use to overcome said grief. Byinterrogating the effects of animal euthanasia on veterinarians, this paper seeks to supportexisting coping mechanism or come up with viable solutions that will enable veterinariansproperly grieve.

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