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Veterinary Legal Issues

Veterinarians have unique compliance issues. Many of the rules and regulations these doctors follow are the same as those that govern the medical practices that treat and care for people. However, there are also differences because animals are involved. Failure to comply with federal, state, and local laws and ethical codes of conduct may result in fines, penalties, and forced closure of the business. Given that CPGs already in use in human medicine may limit physician autonomy and impose rigid or unrealistic standards on clinical practice [66], and veterinarians themselves may be reluctant to implement CPGs, we believe it is necessary to highlight some legal implications in the development of CPGs in veterinary medicine. This appeal in Arizona stems from a veterinary error lawsuit filed by plaintiff/appeal David Kaufman against defendants/appellants, William Langhofer, DVM, and Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic for the death of Salty, Kaufman`s scarlet macaw. The main issue in the appeal is whether a pet owner is entitled to compensation for the emotional suffering and loss of pet caused by the death of their pet. The plaintiff argues that the court here should “expand” Arizona`s common law to allow a pet owner to receive damages for emotional distress and damages for losing his company in a veterinary malpractice lawsuit. While acknowledging the emotional distress Kaufman suffered as a result of Salty`s death, the court found that Dr. Langhofer`s negligence did not directly harm Kaufman. Therefore, the court ruled that it would not be appropriate to expand Arizona`s common law to allow a pet owner to acquire emotional distress or loss of companionship, as this would provide broader compensation for the loss of a pet than for the loss of a human.

The AVMA has guidelines for the use of telemedicine/telemedicine. The guidelines are advisory only. Each state has its own veterinary accreditation bodies. For example, California has a veterinary authority. The Chamber decides: In this New York case, the defendant presented his puppy to the plaintiff`s veterinary hospital for treatment. After discussing the cost of care, the defendant apparently felt that he was not allowed to remove the puppy from the hospital possession. As a result, the plaintiff sent a letter to the defendant describing the balance owing and stating that the hospital would keep the puppy for an additional 10 days, after which it would “take care of the dog in accordance with available legal methods to dispose of abandoned dogs.” The appeal concerns whether that letter was filed as required by section 331 of the Law on Agriculture and the Market. The court found that he did not meet the legal requirements and that the plaintiff was therefore liable for the defendant`s loss of his puppy worth $200.

The plaintiff was entitled to judgment on his claim for $309 for care expenses. Exemplary professional conduct preserves the dignity of the veterinary profession. All veterinarians are required to adhere to an advanced code of ethical conduct known as the Principles of Veterinary Ethics (the Principles). The basis of the principles is the golden rule. Veterinarians should accept this rule as a guide for their general conduct and adhere to the principles. They should manage their professional and personal affairs ethically. Veterinary professional organisations should adopt the principles or a similar code as a guide for their activities. “Telemedicine, which is client-centric, involves the provision of specific information to a particular patient and is only permitted within an established VCPR; and non-customer-centric models that include general consultation, telemarketing and advertising. In models that are not intended for clients, the veterinarian may be able to provide general advice, but not advice that applies to a specific animal. Given the changing relationship between humans and companion animals and the practice of veterinary medicine, today`s public has higher expectations for veterinary professional services than in previous decades, and people are willing to spend more money on medical care. Veterinarians must comply with all laws of the jurisdictions in which they reside and practice veterinary medicine.

Veterinarians must be honest and fair in their dealings with others, and they must not engage in fraud, misrepresentation or deception. CPGs can be promulgated by a wide range of organisations (public and/or private) credible to the veterinary profession (district health authorities, hospital departments, professional associations, general practitioners and scientific societies) (Table 1). Qualified health care advocates also advise veterinarians on a number of other issues, including: The strengthening of the human-animal bond has changed the landscape of the veterinary profession. This, in turn, has led the legal system to more carefully assess damages in cases of animal error and liability and to use clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) to prove whether or not the defendant veterinarian violated the standard of care. In the era of evidence-based veterinary medicine, CPGs are becoming an integral part of many aspects of veterinary practice, even though CPGs do not have the force of law and are halfway between ethical rules and legal requirements. Although the guidelines have been used for several years, there appears to be a general lack of recognition of the medical and legal implications of CPGs for veterinarians. This leads to ambiguities and inconsistencies in veterinary care, harms animal care, and prevents courts from systematically and rationally assessing veterinary competence. Based on these considerations, this article discusses the legal implications of CPGs in veterinary medicine for dogs and cats and explores how the law might address CPGs in the future. The redefinition of CPGs should be a priority for the veterinary profession.