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.
Related collections and offers
About the Author
Patricia Morris is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Drury University.
Table of Contents
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