Veterinarian School Interview
As a vet, do you have the right not to treat an animal? Explain the reasoning behind your answer.
How to Answer
This question is being asked by the interviewer to establish your knowledge of the veterinary industry. Prior to your interviewer, it is recommended to research fully so that you can confidently answer this question, with evidence to support your response.
"My research has definitely helped me in answering this question. My understanding is that a veterinarian is under no legal duty to treat an injured animal. But once a vet agrees to treat a pet, stopping while the animal still needs attention may lead to malpractice liability"
6 Community Answers
"As a vet, your main priority is to always the health and welfare of the animals you are treating, no matter what their condition or circumstances are. If the animal is not your client however, then you are under no obligation to treat it. If an owner is unable to afford treatment, you must make sure they are aware of ways in which they can receive financial aid, e.g. creating suitable payment plans, contacting family members or animal charities who could potentially contribute. As a vet, you can't let an injured animal suffer if the owner cannot afford treatment without trying your hardest to help. Finally, there may be some unfortunate cases where the animal's condition is untreatable. If so, euthanasia may be the only viable option, even though it may be hard to accept, you are still doing what is best for the animal."
Your answer is detailed and showcases your thorough understanding of this topic. It's great that you addressed various circumstances, further outlining that each situation requires a unique approach or response.Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"As a veterinarian, there is no law or policy stating you are required to treat an animal. That being said, my view is that is it unethical to start treatment and then decides to no longer treat the animal without having a valid reason to do so. When a veterinarian begins treating an animal, it becomes their responsibility to complete it."
Good answer! Perhaps consider putting the example of not treating an animal if they are a patient at another clinic toward the top of your answer as this is potentially a reason why a vet might refuse to treat an animal. Another reason you might mention includes being concerned for the physical safety of yourself or your staff. But consider emphasizing that if at all possible you would always treat an animal so that it is not in pain and has a chance to recover and that you feel this way because of your love for animals. Your point about it being unethical to start treatment and then not continue it appears to be a valid and good reason to keep in your answer as well.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"Yes. A key example of this is you have the right to not euthanize an animal if you think there is not a sufficient moral reason to do so. For example, if an owner wants to euthanize their pet out of convenience for reasons such as not having enough money or time, then you can open a discussion about instead re-homing the animal. You could ask if they have any family or friends that would adopt the animal or suggest charities that may re-home the animal. You can also allow them to go to another clinic to euthanize their pet. However, it is important to consider that by refusing euthanasia, it may cause the owner distress and in turn be deleterious to their pet. Whatever the case, as the RCVS code states, animal welfare should always be the veterinarian's first consideration and you should always act with the animal's welfare as number one priority."
It's a great idea to mention the RCVS code since your answer may vary depending on the region. It's clear that you have a strong understanding of your rights and responsibilities as a veterinarian. Good, in-depth answer. The examples you provide are a nice touch.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"Veterinarians can legally refuse to treat an animal if they do not feel comfortable; this could be due to several reasons. For instance, the owner could become aggressive, and a veterinarian may be concerned for their own safety. So, turn them away or the treatment needed is beyond the veterinarian's skill set. However, even though refusing treatment isn't illegal, it may be unethical. It depends on the situation."
You show a solid understanding of the legal obligations/rights of a veterinarian in your area. This is a good answer that shows a strong level of confidence. Good work!Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"A vet is under no obligation to treat an animal. However, if treatment is started and then suddenly stopped it would be extremely unethical to refuse to treat the animal. At that point, you have a duty of care to this animal. For example, if an animal was not a client of yours and belonged to another vet, then you are under no obligation to treat this animal."
Solid response with a good example at the end.
"A veterinarian is under no obligation to treat an animal. If a vet had started treatment and then stopped, it would be unethical not to complete the treatment as they must care for the animal. However, if an animal was not a client of the vet, and belonged to another vet, they are under no obligation to treat the animal."Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"There are currently no laws requiring vets to provide treatments to all animals. The practicing veterinarian has the control of which animals to take in, but once treatment starts, they are obliged to complete work to the best of their ability. So the control point to not treat animals that do not fit your experience is at the door. If a patient came in that did not fit under your specialty or even outside of office hours, veterinarians have the ability to turn them away, while possibly referring to another vet."
You show a strong knowledge of a veterinarians' responsibility. Thorough, easy to understand the response.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!