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“What If It Was Your Dog?” Resource Shortages and Decision-Making in Veterinary Medicine—A Vignette Study with German Veterinary Students


Persson, Kirsten; Gerdts, Wiebke-Rebekka; Hartnack, Sonja; Kunzmann, Peter (2023). “What If It Was Your Dog?” Resource Shortages and Decision-Making in Veterinary Medicine—A Vignette Study with German Veterinary Students. Veterinary Sciences, 10(2):161.

Abstract

The here presented vignette study was part of a survey on ethical judgement skills among advanced veterinary students at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation. The vignette describes a fictitious dilemma in veterinary practice due to medication supply shortages. First, the students should make an ethically justified decision: who of the two patients in the waiting room gets the last dosage of a medication. Important factors were the animal patients’ characteristics (age, state of health, life expectancy), the patient owners’ wellbeing, and context-related criteria. Second, the students were asked for decisional changes if one of the patients was their own dog. They reacted in four different ways: (1) for a professional, this should not make a difference; (2) most likely being “egoistic” and preferring their own dog; (3) giving the medication to the other dog; and (4) avoiding a decision. Finally, the students judged a list of possible solutions to the dilemma on a 9-point scale. They preferred patient-related criteria to patient-owner-related criteria in this task. In the overall results, it became obvious that no “gold standard” or guidelines for situations of medication shortages exist, yet, which presents an important subject for future research and veterinary ethics teaching.

Abstract

The here presented vignette study was part of a survey on ethical judgement skills among advanced veterinary students at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation. The vignette describes a fictitious dilemma in veterinary practice due to medication supply shortages. First, the students should make an ethically justified decision: who of the two patients in the waiting room gets the last dosage of a medication. Important factors were the animal patients’ characteristics (age, state of health, life expectancy), the patient owners’ wellbeing, and context-related criteria. Second, the students were asked for decisional changes if one of the patients was their own dog. They reacted in four different ways: (1) for a professional, this should not make a difference; (2) most likely being “egoistic” and preferring their own dog; (3) giving the medication to the other dog; and (4) avoiding a decision. Finally, the students judged a list of possible solutions to the dilemma on a 9-point scale. They preferred patient-related criteria to patient-owner-related criteria in this task. In the overall results, it became obvious that no “gold standard” or guidelines for situations of medication shortages exist, yet, which presents an important subject for future research and veterinary ethics teaching.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinärwissenschaftliches Institut > Chair in Veterinary Epidemiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > General Veterinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Veterinary
Language:English
Date:17 February 2023
Deposited On:24 Nov 2023 07:25
Last Modified:19 Apr 2024 11:13
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2306-7381
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10020161
PubMed ID:36851465
Other Identification Number:PMCID: PMC9961434
Project Information:
  • : FunderUniversity of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)