Special Issue "Empirical Animal and Veterinary Medical Ethics"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Ethics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2022 | Viewed by 1154

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Svenja Springer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Unit of Ethics and Human-Animal-Studies, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
2. Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Interests: empirical veterinary ethics; veterinary ethics; veterinary professional ethics; clinical ethics consultant services
Prof. Dr. Peter Sandøe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark
2. Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Interests: animal ethics; animal welfare; social science
Prof. Dr. Herwig Grimm
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Unit of Ethics and Human-Animal-Studies, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
Interests: applied animal ethics; pragmatism in applied ethics, methods of problem-orineted and applied moral philosophy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Sonja Hartnack
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Co-Guest Editor
Section of Epidemiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: diagnostic test evaluation; bayesian methods; machine learning techniques; professional veterinary medical ethics; animal disease control; mixed methods
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Barry Kipperman
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Veterinary Ethics, University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Interests: ethical dilemmas of veterinarians; economic influences on animal welfare; brachycephaly
Prof. Dr. Sabine Salloch
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Institute of Ethics, History and Philosophy of Medicine, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
Interests: empirical bioethics methodology; ethical issues at the end of life; medical professionalism; ethics of digitization in health care

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the past few decades, several areas of applied ethics have taken an empirical turn by using social science research methods, such as questionnaire surveys or interviews, to empirically inform normative reasoning within ethical debates. This has been particularly true in the field of medical ethics, where empirical methods have increasingly been used to situate issues in their various real-life contexts. In parallel, there has been a philosophical discussion about the foundation, meaning, and possible scope of empirical ethics. This discussion particularly addresses how empirically gained facts can contribute to moral knowledge and highlights the necessity of methodological reflections within the field of empirical ethics.

Even though interest in empirical studies of animals and human–animal relationships in academia has been high, until recently, there has been very little work based on empirical data in the fields of applied ethics relating to animals. However, some work has recently emerged in animal ethics and veterinary medical ethics that indicates not only an interest in, but also a demand for empirically informed debates within these fields.

With this Special Issue, we aim to contribute to the development of this empirical turn in the context of animal and veterinary medical ethics. We welcome contributions from the following areas of study:

  1. Reflections on the foundation, meaning or possible scope of empirical animal and veterinary medical ethics;
  2. Guidance and discussion concerning methodologies of empirical animal and veterinary medical ethics;
  3. Reviews of developments within the field of empirical animal and veterinary medical ethics;
  4. Specific studies within the field of empirical animal and veterinary medical ethics including an in-depth and detailed reflection on advantages and limitations of the study design adopted.

Dr. Svenja Springer
Prof. Dr. Peter Sandøe
Prof. Dr. Herwig Grimm
Dr. Sonja Hartnack
Dr. Barry Kipperman
Prof. Dr. Sabine Salloch
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • animal ethics
  • veterinary ethics
  • methods applies ethics
  • qualitative and quantitative research designs

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Assessing Moral Judgements in Veterinary Students: An Exploratory Mixed-Methods Study from Germany
Animals 2022, 12(5), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12050586 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 469
Abstract
Although veterinary ethics is required in veterinary curricula and part of the competencies expected of a trained veterinary surgeon according to the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), knowledge concerning the effects of ethics teaching and tools evaluating moral judgement are [...] Read more.
Although veterinary ethics is required in veterinary curricula and part of the competencies expected of a trained veterinary surgeon according to the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), knowledge concerning the effects of ethics teaching and tools evaluating moral judgement are scarce. To address this lack of tools with a mixed-methods approach, a questionnaire with three case scenarios presenting typical ethical conflicts of veterinary practice was administered to two groups of veterinary students (one had taken ethics classes, one did not). The questionnaire contained both open-ended and closed questions and was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The qualitative part aimed at revealing different argumentation patterns between the two groups, whereas the quantitative part focused on the students’ approval of different roles and attitudes possibly relating to veterinarians. The results showed no major differences between both groups. However, answering patterns suggest a clear diversity among the students in their perception of morally relevant factors and the veterinary profession. Awareness of morally challenging elements of their profession was presented by students of both groups. With this exploratory study, the application of an innovative mixed-methods tool for evaluating the moral judgement of veterinary medical students is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Empirical Animal and Veterinary Medical Ethics)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Reducing moral stress in veterinary teams? Evaluating the use of ethical discussion groups and ethical decision making tools in veterinary practice
Authors: Vanessa Ashall
Affiliation: Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) Department of Sociology, University of York
Abstract: This study examines experiences of veterinary moral stress (Batchelor and Mckeegan 2012) in charity veterinary practice. The study aims to qualitatively evaluate the role of ethical discussion groups (Wensley et al 2020) and ethical decision making tools (Grimm et al 2018) in reducing veterinary moral stress. The data is drawn from 9 focus groups and 15 individual interviews with veterinary team members from 3 UK charity hospitals. The data was collected remotely via Zoom in 2021-2022. A semi-structured interview schedule guided an in depth exploration of 1) The causes and significance of veterinary moral stress 2) The use of veterinary ethical tools 3) Experiences of small group ethical discussion. With fully informed participant consent, the data was recorded, transcribed and anonymised before thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke 2006) using inductive and deductive techniques. The study results identify both practical and relational barriers to ethical action as contributors to veterinary moral stress. Existing veterinary ethics tools are shown to be of limited value in charity veterinary practice, due to the complexity of veterinary relationships and ethical responsibilities (Ashall 2022). Finally, ethical group discussion is valued as a route to improved clinical decision making and may also help reduce veterinary moral stress, even where clinical outcomes are not altered. In conclusion, the study identifies the significant impact of veterinary moral stress on charity veterinary teams. The results support the use of ethical discussion groups to reduce moral stress, but highlight the need for the further development of veterinary ethics tools.

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