College Connection Winter 2019

college CONNECTION Winter 2019 / Vol. 35 No. 4 ISSN 2370-5965 BIOETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN ANIMAL PAIN MANAGEMENT WHAT’S NEW AT CVO.ORG The College’s website got a facelift this winter. The website is popular among veterinarians, clinic staff and the public. Here is a list of some of the popular resources and where to find them online. Find a Veterinarian: The College’s online search tool is accessed several thousand times each a month by members of the public who are seeking information on veterinarians in Ontario. Find the link on the homepage at Professional Practice Portal: The link to the licensed members’ portal has moved to the top of to make it easier for veterinarians to locate. Visit the portal for licence renewal or to make changes to update your information. ROBIN DOWNING, DVM, MS (BIOETHICS), DAAPM, DACVSMR, CCRP THE DOWNING CENTER FOR ANIMAL PAIN MANAGEMENT, LLC WINDSOR, COLORADO, USA The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor “Can they talk?”, but “Can they suffer?” - - Jeremy Bentham (English philosopher, 1748 – 1832) It has not been all that long since veterinary medicine recognized the critical nature of appropriate and comprehensive pain management for animal patients. In the 1980’s it was still commonplace for veterinary students to be taught that relieving all post-operative pain in surgical patients would result in them being too active and “hurting themselves”. Of course, we now recognize the inaccuracy of such a statement. Animals possess the very same neurophysiology as humans, meaning that an experience or procedure that would be painful for a human would deliver a similar pain experience to an animal. This phenomenon is called the “principle of analogy”. Understanding pain in animals to be a similar physiologic experience to that in humans allows us to appreciate that pain in animals is a similar bioethical issue as well. Reframing animals pain as more than simple physiology, and viewing it through the lens of bioethics opens the door to applying the four foundational principles of clinical bioethics to better appreciate the imperative to provide comprehensive, multimodal pain management to animal patients, large or small. Standards & Policy: Stay current on College expectations. All professional practice standards and policy documents are located at You have the option of viewing the documents according to subject area or click “list view” for a full list of all standards and policy documents in alphabetical order. continued on back page COLLEGE CONNECTION CONTENTS An Engaged Professional 3 Executive Committee 4 Regulatory Effectiveness 5 Learning in Practice 6 Discipline Summaries 7 Accreditation Standards 8 continued on page 2 Instilling public confidence in veterinary regulation 1