What is the price of love?: The ethics of ever-escalating medical care costs for companion animals
presentationposted on 13.10.2014, 00:00 by Amanda Morgan Payne
Medical and surgical procedures that previously only existed in the realm of human medicine have been making the move into the world of veterinary medicine. While these advancements can provide lifesaving treatments for beloved companion animals, there exists a grey area in which the application of these technologies may be inappropriate. New cancer therapies have helped to extend the lives of companion animals afflicted with cancer, organ transplants have been undergoing new developments, and there are new ways to treat congenital problems and injuries in pets. The dog cloning industry is one wrought with ethical dilemmas as well. Are these procedures ethical? Should pet owners be allowed to pay huge fees, sometimes upwards of one hundred thousand dollars, in order to save the lives of their animals? The moral theory of utilitarianism can help to shed light on the reasons why people should or should not subject their pets to these new veterinary procedures. The purpose of this study is to explore current procedures available to improve the lives of companion animals and to outline the ethics behind the decisions of pet owners and veterinary professionals to apply these technologies.