Addressing questionable ethics

Addressing questionable ethics

Dec 01, 2005

Q. The veterinarian I work for has questionable ethics; he treats animals in ways that clients wouldn't approve. Can I do anything about it?

Dr. Charlotte Lacroix
First, establish whether his behavior is a violation of professional ethics or your moral ethics, says Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, an attorney and owner of Veterinary Business Advisors Inc. in Whitehouse Station, N.J. Dr. Lacroix suggests contacting the AVMA to obtain the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics. Then, if he is violating the AVMA code, you can tell your employer and report it to the AVMA.

If you stay, and harm comes to a patient, it may not just be a violation of ethics—it may be a legal issue. "And the situation could reflect on the rest of the staff, as well," Dr. Lacroix says.

"If you decide that it's a disagreement of personal morals, there's little you can do," says Dr. Lacroix. "And you may want to consider seeking alternative employment."