6th Annual Gulf-Atlantic Veterinary Conference
Veterinary medicine is the only health care profession licensed to end life. Death is not only a necessary, essential and permanent part of our job, but it is also an art form that requires immense personal focus, unparalleled empathy and a unique form of compassion. Treating this most important part of our profession with honor, dignity and professionalism is perhaps the best way we can combat feelings of compassion fatigue, help pet parents get beyond their guilt and in turn begin to apply the lessons we learn every day in the veterinary clinic to our own species. Because in the end, death is not a failure of medicine but the natural progression of biology, and should we respect boundaries and standards of care within our own species that we have so deliberately placed on others? In this talk, we will take an open, non-judgmental and compassionate look at how veterinarians evaluate quality of life, discuss options with pet owners, and eventually work through the emotions of purposefully ending a life.