Letter to dvm360: An ethical practice helps those at the lower end of the income scale


Pets need care ... even those owned by folks with less money, according to this veterinary practice owner.

I agree with Dr. Michael Blackwell in “Commentary: Nonprofit veterinary clinics do far more good than harm.” If a client declines up-to-date diagnostics and therapies, then “medicine from the 1960s” can be an appropriate treatment for many problems. Anyone who has practiced medicine in or visited a third-world clinic-human or veterinary-knows that we treat our pets better than most of the world treats humans. Of course, treating a blocked tomcat just with urinary acidifiers is inappropriate. But an animal only has a right to a humane life and humane euthanasia. When we attribute additional rights to our patients, the costs are borne by the pet owners.

An ethical veterinary clinic will work with its active clients and charge amounts for sick-animal medical services that are appropriate for the animals and clients' ability to pay. At my practice, we help those who are at the lower end of the income scale as long as the patient has been seen within the last one to two years for a health preventative service. Clients receive reduced sick-animal exam fees and reduced emergency fees, and we provide them with the ability to pay later.

-Steven Benscheidt, DVM

Longmont, Colorado

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