PRAC116-0914: Veterinary Ethics
The lectures for this course will be presented in a predominantly audio format.
Please come prepared to listen.
Enrollment is closed.
Carol Morgan, DVM, PhD
and Raymond Anthony PhD
September 25-November 30, 2014
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS):
Thursdays, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, and 20; 9:00-11:00 pm ET (US)
Course RTS Times in Your Area:
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In order to prepare you for a successful experience
in your CE course, we request you attend a Practice Session prior to the first
Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session
is up to 1 hour in length.
For more information, please visit the
CE Practice Area
*The instructors for this course will be using audio which will require you to have a headset or speakers to listen.
If you have any concerns regarding your computer's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend
one of the Practice Sessions.
Level and Prerequisites:
course is intended for small animal practitioners in private
practice who have an interest in developing the tools to work through ethically
challenging situations. Although the course is aimed at exploring veterinarians'
responsibilities in practice, credentialed veterinary technicians are most welcome
VIN CE Course:
Open to veterinarians and veterinary staff.
This course has been approved by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.
Ethically challenging situations are very common in veterinary medicine.
Yet, unlike many other professions, veterinarians often receive very
little formal training in ethics, ethical theory, and the process of
making moral decisions. Understanding ethical theory and its
applications can make it easier to stay out of trouble with clients
and regulators. It can also help to stimulate dialogue about ethical
issues amongst colleagues and veterinary team members. Learn the
ground rules for engaging in ethical discussion and how to look at
your practice policies and interactions with colleagues and staff
in a new way.
The first three sessions focus on the basics of ethics and the process
of making moral decisions. The remaining five sessions will cover the
application of moral decisions to specific topics relevant to
This course consists of eight (8) 2-hour Real Time Session, supplemental library materials,
interactive message board discussions, and a mandatory end-of-course test.
Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required
to earn a certificate of completion for the course.
*The lecture portion of this course will be an audio presentation, please be prepared to listen.
Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to
- Enhance their moral sensitivity, i.e. their ability to identify all the
relevant moral issues in an ethically challenging situation.
- Understand the various ethical theories and be able to apply them,
through decision making tools, to work through ethical issues.
- Gain an understanding of the complexity of the many ethical
problems that occur in veterinary practice.
- Improve moral self-reflection and be able to challenge themselves,
their colleagues, and staff to think about ethical issues in an
organized and rigorous fashion.
Course materials will be available
in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.
About the Instructors:
Dr. Carol Morgan
- Legood, G. (2000). Veterinary Ethics, an Introduction. Continuum.
- Rollin, B. (2006). An Introduction to Veterinary Medical Ethics:
Theory and Cases, 2nd Ed. Wiley-Blackwell.
Available in the VIN bookstore:
Remember to login in order to receive your VIN discount.
- Tannenbaum, J. (1995). Veterinary Ethics; Animal Welfare, Client Relations,
Competition, and Collegiality, 2nd Ed. Mosby.
ISBN-13: 978- 0815188407
graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Saskatchewan, in 1988. She obtained a PhD in 2009 from the University
of British Columbia (Vancouver) in Interdisciplinary Studies through the W. Maurice
Young Centre for Applied Ethics and the UBC Animal Welfare Program.
Her doctoral research focused on moral decision making by veterinarians with
respect to animal welfare decisions.
She has given lectures on ethics to students and practitioners both nationally
and internationally and written articles on the topic. Dr. Morgan sits on the
College of Veterinarians of BC (CVBC) disciplinary committee (tasked with
deliberating breaches to provincial veterinary regulations) and is involved
in developing animal welfare standards at the national level.
She is a past editor and historian for the Society of Veterinary Medical Ethics.
Dr. Raymond Anthony
is a Professor of Philosophy at the University
of Alaska Anchorage, USA. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from Purdue University.
His areas of specialization include Ethical Theory and Environmental Philosophy
(especially the nexus between environmental-animal-agricultural-food ethics),
and the philosophy of technology. His current research interests in these areas
deal with social justice, participatory democracy, obligations to future generations
and non-human animals.
Dr. Anthony has an international reputation for his expertise in bioethical
issues in the areas specified above. Dr. Anthony also teaches philosophy of
mind and philosophy of science courses. Dr. Anthony is ethics advisor for the
American Veterinary Medical Association's Panel on Euthanasia, Panel on Humane
Slaughter, and Animal Welfare Committee and is a former council member for
Agriculture, Food and Human Values. Dr. Anthony is part of an inter-institutional
team that was awarded an USDA grant to develop teaching aids for animal
welfare ethics education. One of his current projects includes a report for the
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) on the Well-being
of Agricultural Animals. You can learn more about Dr. Anthony at:
(Real Time Session October 2, 2014):
- What is ethics?
- Understand 'ethics' as a formal discipline
- Differences between 'ethics' and 'morality' and other
areas such as law, religion, sociology, and personal opinion.
- Understand the main ethical theories, recognize them,
and understand how you use them when making an ethical argument.
(Real Time Session October 9, 2014):
Moral Development/Moral Psychology Review and Moral Decision Making
- Understand the different facets of making moral decisions
- Develop the skills necessary to recognize all of the ethical issues in a situation
- Develop the skills necessary to manage ethical problems,
including using various tools to resolve ethical problems.
(Real Time Session October 16, 2014):
- Understand the scope of professional responsibilities and
the responsibilities of individual professionals
- Review of professional tenets relating to veterinary medicine and other professions
- Understand the importance of trust in professional relations.
- Understand how character traits and behaviors contribute to fiduciary relationships.
(Real Time Session October 23, 2014):
Responsibilities to Clients
- Professional models - the veterinary/client relationship
- Informed consent - standards of comprehension, standards of disclosure, and client competence
- When is it acceptable to break client confidentiality? How should it be done?
- Handling difficult clients
- Should difficult clients be penalized?
- Is firing clients ever acceptable? Is it ever unacceptable?
- Medical records
- Why are medical records so important
- Ownership of information
- Including non-medical facts within medical records
(Real Time Session October 30, 2014):
Patient Centered Ethics
- Provision of Care - Do veterinarians have a responsibility to provide care?
- Is pro-bono work a professional responsibility for veterinarians?
Is lower level care acceptable?
- Do veterinarians have an obligation to provide at least minimal care
in emergency situations - to client's animals? To any animal?
- Non-Therapeutic Procedures
- Are cosmetics procedures acceptable?
- What are veterinarians responsibilities with respect to behavioral surgeries (e.g. declaws, debarks)
- Pain Management Ethics
- Is pain management optional in your clinic?
- What should be done when clients refuse at-home pain management?
(Real Time Session November 6, 2014):
Patient Centered Ethics - Continued
- Quality of life
- What responsibilities do veterinarians have about patient quality of life?
Are veterinarians or animal owners best at determining the interests of a patient?
- End-of-life issues
- Who should decide if euthanasia is appropriate?
- Passive and active euthanasia
- Is it acceptable to let ill patients die a natural death?
If so, how should this be managed?
(Real Time Session November 13, 2014):
- Performing procedures competently and scope of practice
- When is it acceptable to perform a procedure that
you are not sure you are competent to perform?
- Referring to specialists and referred clients/patients
- When should you refer to a specialist?
- How should second opinions be handled?
- Reacting to evidence of professional incompetence of a colleague
- Delegation to non-veterinary staff
- Is it ever acceptable for non-veterinarians to perform surgery?
- Medical Errors
(Real Time Session November 20, 2014):
CE CREDITS: 16
- Ethics around prescribing and dispensing
- Should you dispense medications from your practice?
How should patients and clients be protected?
- Avoiding conflicts of interest in business relationships
(i.e. with Pet Stores, Suppliers)
- Is it appropriate to have referral arrangements with pet service providers,
such as pet stores and groomers?
- How should veterinarians manage rebate and incentive programs with suppliers
(i.e. diagnostic suppliers, pharmaceutical companies)?
- Responsibilities in Advertising/Social Media
$336 ($302 early bird special if enrolled by September 11, 2014)
*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes,
enrollment will close at 5 pm ET on October 2, 2014
or when the maximum number of participants is reached.
*For more information on how online CE works, see the
Participant Resource Center
Enrollment is closed.
- Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to
VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course
must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a
VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
- Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org
and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants;
personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
- Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration.
To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll
for a course on behalf of another individual.
- For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE)
CEonVIN@vin.com or (VSPN CE)
Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is submitted for approval for 16 continuing education credits in jurisdictions
which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some
boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or
restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education."
Call VSPN/VIN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information.
(Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for
information regarding recognition by their board).
Course withdrawal and refund policy:
A complete refund of the paid course price will be
issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course.
If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636)
to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you
call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the
VSPN Course Catalog
The CE team:
Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Coordinator
VIN CE Services: CEonVIN@vin.com
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
800.700.4636 | CEonVIN@vin.com | 530.756.4881 | Fax: 530.756.6035|
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