Veterinarians’ Discourses on Animals and Clients

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (6):557-578 (2005)
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Abstract

Veterinarians have obligations towards both the animals they treat and their clients, the owners of the animals. With both groups, veterinarians have complicated relations; many times the interests of both groups conflict. In this article, using Q-methodology as a method for discourse analysis, the following question is answered: How do Dutch practicing veterinarians conceptualize animals and their owners and their professional responsibility towards both? The main part of the article contains descriptions of four different discourses on animals and their owners and on veterinarian professional responsibilities that prevail among veterinarians. The factual images veterinarians have of animals and their owners are connected to different moral questions and solutions to these questions.

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