A preliminary investigation into the moral reasoning abilities of UK veterinarians

Batchelor, C.E.M., Creed, A. and McKeegan, D.E.F. (2015) A preliminary investigation into the moral reasoning abilities of UK veterinarians. Veterinary Record, 177(5), 124. (doi:10.1136/vr.102775) (PMID:26109285)

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Abstract

Veterinary medicine is an ethically challenging profession, but the ethical reasoning abilities of practising veterinarians in the UK have never been formally assessed. This study investigated moral reasoning ability in 65 qualified veterinarians (38 practising and 27 academic) and 33 members of the public in the UK using the Defining Issues Test. Academic veterinarians had higher scores than members of the public but practising veterinarians did not. There was large variation in moral reasoning abilities among qualified veterinarians. Moral reasoning score in veterinarians did not improve with years of experience. These results show that despite having a professional degree moral reasoning skills of practising veterinarians may be insufficient to deal with the demands of their profession. This could have implications for animal welfare, client services and veterinarian wellbeing. The results highlight the need for more training in this area.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McKeegan, Dr Dorothy
Authors: Batchelor, C.E.M., Creed, A., and McKeegan, D.E.F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Veterinary Record
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0042-4900
ISSN (Online):2042-7670

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