Melanie Goble. DVM
The Answer is “No”, but…
A clinic that I was recently providing relief services at had a client come in and an opioid was prescribed for the patient. Later, the client asked if they could just return here if they needed another prescription.
The other doctor and I discussed this. The answer was, “No.” but we then had to deal with the concerns of is the patient actually getting the pain control that it needs? How do we balance the needs of the patient and the risks for the client, and society? We all get know the obvious answer of no when we know the patient is not ever going to get those medications, but when there is doubt? What about when the client shares that they are on the same medications? What about when there is high suspicion, for whatever reason, of non-prescription drug use by the owner or someone in the household?
Yes, there are other medications that we could use, but what happens when those medications are not an option? When those medications don’t actually touch the pain? When costs are a major issue? When neither surgery or euthanasia is something the client is willing to consider?
How do we maintain our oath? How do we relief animal suffering and promotion of public health? This same client said, “The opioid epidemic doesn’t exist.” We know that it does.
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.
I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.
Let’s really talk about this. What do you say?
The Admin Team of NOMV is a group of veterinarians dedicated to improving veterinary mental health.