Blue Juice: Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine

Blue Juice: Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine

by Patricia Morris


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Offering a candid, behind-the-scenes look at small-animal veterinary practices, Blue Juke explores the emotional and ethical conflicts involved in providing a "good death" for companion animals. Patricia Morris presents a nuanced ethnographic account of how veterinarians manage patient care and client relations when their responsibility shifts from saving an animal's life to negotiating a decision to end it.

Using not only her own experiences and observations in veterinary settings but also the voices of both seasoned and novice veterinarians, Morris reveals how practitioners think about euthanasia and why this "dirty work" can precipitate burnout, moral quandaries, and tense or emotional interactions with clients. Closely examining these interactions, Morris illuminates the ways in which euthanasia reflects deep and unresolved tension in human-animal relationships.

Blue Juice seeks to understand how practitioners, charged with the difficult task of balancing the interests of their animal patients and their human clients, deal with the responsibility of ending their patients' lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439907061
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 06/08/2012
Series: Animals Culture And Society Series
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Patricia Morris is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Drury University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine 1

1 Negotiating Death: Managing Disagreement with Pet Owners 19

2 Creating a Good Death: The Dramaturgy of Veterinary Euthanasia 49

3 Strange Intimacy: Managing Pet Owners' Emotions 80

4 Learning to Euthanize: Death and the Novice Veterinarian 106

5 Coping with Euthanasia: Emotion-Management Strategies 136

Conclusion: Animals as Property and Patients 170

Appendix: Methodology 187

Notes 193

References 205

Index 227

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