Ethics: the why and wherefore of veterinary law.

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2 Scopus citations


It is impossible to understand one's legal obligations without appreciating the ethical values these obligations are intended to promote. This article presents an overview of the sources of ethical values in veterinary practice. The author explains how legal requirements embody basic moral standards that veterinarians themselves regard as central to their professional role. It is argued that the most effective way of predicting many legal obligations and of motivating oneself to fulfill them is to accept and live by fundamental moral values. The article concludes that the underlying ethical motivation of the law underscores the importance of making attention to ethics an essential part of one's practice of veterinary medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-935
Number of pages15
JournalThe Veterinary clinics of North America. Small animal practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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