Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Good clinical decision-making is central to being a good vet

This week, both the staff and students here at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies were delighted to engage in an ethical debate and discussion, led by Dr James Yeates, Chief Veterinary Surgeon for the RSPCA. The topic was “Decision-making in practice and the role and responsibilities of the veterinary surgeon”.

“Good clinical decision-making is central to being a good vet. This requires not only enough medical knowledge, but also accurate welfare assessment and sound ethical reasoning. Best practice (as described in textbooks) can take us so far, but not many cases allow such ‘best practice’” says Dr Yeates, and in his presentations he discussed the concept of ‘Bespoke best practice’, tailored towards a particular animal in a particular situation, rather than a textbook case.

Dr Yeates also emphasised the role of the veterinary profession in guiding positive animal welfare decisions, and our responsibilities to both our patients and clients.

This presentation was part of the ‘Ethics and Welfare’ lecture series championed by the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, to encourage discussion and debate on animal welfare and ethical issues relating to the veterinary profession.

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