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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Paul Waldau

LVM: Session 1

Author: Paul Waldau, D.Phil., J.D.

1. Overview

  • In the first hour, we look generally at the course and this materials syllabus, and we discuss course “culture” and mechanics—consider, for example, where does this course sit in the TCSVM curriculum and the Ethics and Values Signature Program?

  • We then turn to ethics terminology generally (we’ll look much more closely at such terminology in a later session) and the 6 boxes diagram (see below—this is a fundamental tool in this course).

  • We’ll also discuss the hypothetical (#1):

    • Suppose you own a veterinary clinic and one of your long-term human clients dies. The client leaves a will in which your veterinary clinic is instructed to “put to sleep” any cats and dogs that are alive when the patient dies.

      • What can you do?

      • Must you kill the animals?

      • Can you refuse?

  • In the second hour, we’ll being our review of Massachusetts’ most fundamental law governing veterinarians (this kind of law is generically referred to as “the state practice act”).

2. Readings and Resources

  • The 6 boxes diagram (see below)

  • Comments on Law, Ethics, and Other Sources of “Right” and “Wrong”

  • “Basic questions about Veterinary Ethics Courses”

  • Excerpted passages from Massachusetts state practice act and related regulations – Registration of Veterinarians: Chapter 112, Sections 54-60 (includes all amendments to the General Laws passed through September 30, 2006).

  • You might also look at the two-page document entitled “Additional Sources on Law and Veterinary Ethics Issues” included in the Supplementary Materials folder.

3. 6 boxes diagram

6 boxes diagram - ethical terms