Legal implications of euthanasia without owner consent

Louise Olley
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

A veterinary surgeon and registered veterinary nurse must act in accordance with an animal owner's wishes and should respect their confidentiality. This can cause conflict as animal welfare should also be considered as a priority. Contradictory messages from legislation and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses are confusing, however, guidance from these suggests that animal welfare overrides all. To practice clinical governance, veterinary teams should discuss ethical scenarios to prepare all staff for prioritising animal welfare while considering the views of the owner.

Table 1. Five Animal Welfare Needs (Animal Welfare Act, 2006)
Table 1. Five Animal Welfare Needs (Animal Welfare Act, 2006)

Subscribe to get full access to The Veterinary Nurse

Thank you for vising The Veterinary nurse and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the leading peer-reviewed journal for veterinary nurses, you can start your subscription today for just £26.

Subscribing will enable you to:

  • Stay up-to-date with current thinking and best practice in veterinary medicine
  • Enhance your knowledge and understanding of all key clinical topics
  • Achieve the mandatory requirement of 45 hours' documented CPD over a three-year period
Subscribe now

Already registered? - Sign in here

Keep up to date with The Veterinary Nurse!

Sign up to The Veterinary Nurse's regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.