Do No Harm

I always assumed my experience as a veterinarian would serve me at some point when I needed to navigate the human healthcare system. The similarities between veterinary training and medical training, after all, lend themselves to a good number of similarities: how to read scientific articles critically. How to read an MRI. When to call the office and say, this prescription doesn’t seem quite right, is this what you wanted?

The similarities are all well and good, but I never understood, in the marrow of my bones, until recently that what would serve me best was our differences.

We MDs and DVMs are both given an ethical mandate to ‘do no harm’, which we as communities hold dear. Our duties to our patients are guided by this overarching principle; we look to it for direction in complicated cases, fall back on it when we feel conflicted about a request, and hold it like a flashlight when we shine a light into the cave of an uncertain future, looking for direction.

But oh, do those lights shine in very different spectrums.

Recently, a man in Russia volunteered to become the subject of the very first head transplant, an idea that leaves most of the world recoiling in horror. “There are some things worse than death,” said many of the neurosurgeons commenting on the piece.

As a veterinarian, I agree. We veterinarians occupy a strange place in the medical field in that most of us view it as not only an option but often a moral imperative to ease the pain of a traumatic death process through pharmacologic means. We are precise in our process, with the goal of minimizing stress and pain. We view it not as causing death, but as easing an uncurable pain. In this, we view our fulfillment to do no harm.

But in the human medical field, the prevailing attitude is by and large that hastening death is, indeed, harm, and anything we do to prolong a life is conversely fulfilling their requirement to do no harm, no matter what it does to a person or family in the process.

Even if it is multiple craniotomies.

Months of chemotherapy.

Daily radiation therapy with a bevy of ill effects. And you have to get screwed down to the table wearing one of these while they shoot brain shrivelling radiation beams at your head:

radiation mask

Not to cure a disease, but to make a patient breathe one more day, for better or for worse. It is the second most common utterance to me in my hospice work: we do better with our pets than we do our people when it comes to end-of-life decisions, and truly, friends, we really do.

I was recently-by invitation- listening to a doctor outline just such a series of events and possibilities to a patient who didn’t want to partake in them, who has been looking- without success- for someone to say, it’s ok to say no to months of hospital visits and yes to fewer days filled with this:

Ha

Plenty of people do want everything we have to throw at disease, and more power to them all. Thank God for modern medicine. But when did it become not only an unthinkable mistake, but an outright affront to the medical community to say, “thanks but no thanks”?

Searching for information on hospice and palliative care has been as challenging as getting bootleg rum during prohibition, furtive conversations in hallways and whispered hints at such necessary things as family support and respite care, secondary concerns far down the to-do list after scheduling yet another CT. I never knew how much of an afterthought the emotional wellbeing of the patient truly is in many medical decision making processes.

“So what if they don’t want to do this?” I asked.

“Well, this is the standard of care,” the resident responded.

“And if they choose not to do this?” I asked again.

“Why wouldn’t you?” he said, dumbfounded. He never did give me an answer.

Do no harm.

 

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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South Jersey’s 2nd Annual Pet Wellness Symposium

Event:     South Jerseys 2nd Annual Pet Wellness Symposium

Date:       April 18, 2015

Location:   Palmyra Community Center; 30 W. Broad St., Palmyra, NJ 08065

Organizer / Host: Lori Genstein, I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC

Number of Attendees: 100 (Approximate)

Purpose:   Fundraiser & Educational Pet Wellness Symposium – Annual Community Event

Goal: Veterinarians and pet experts present lectures and spend the afternoon with pet parents, professionals and animal lovers, raising awareness to the benefits of wellness and holistic care, natural therapeutic options, appropriate nutrition and less-invasive methods of treatment to enhance animals’ health and well-being.

Lectures Topics: Animal CPR, Food is the Foundation for Life – Treating Illness with Food not Medicine, Vaccination Protocols, Early Disease Recognition, Regenerative Medicine – Stem Cell Therapy, Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, Cat Behavior and Myths, Bond with your Dog, Blood Bank for Animals, All About Furry Angel Therapy Dogs, and more! For a list of Presenters and Lecture Descriptions visit: www.ivegotthescoop.net/PRESENTERS.html   Learn techniques to restore harmony and balance to an animal’s energy system while providing physical, emotional, mental and instinctual stability. Tri-Boro CERT will explain how to become a volunteer trained in Emergency Mgt.

Childrens Activities: Community service project – Toy Workshops, Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter! Great fun making environmentally-friendly dog and cat toys benefitting FOBCAS.

Paws to Read Program – Interacting with and Reading to the Furry Angels Therapy Dogs

Bite Prevention Class How to Greet Dogs and Act Appropriately Around Dogs.

Recipient of Donations:

Boo Tiki Fund – a 501 (C) (3) non-profit charity providing veterinary care for pets at risk of euthanasia or being relinquished to a shelter due to a family’s inability to pay for their care; striving to keep pets in their forever homes. www.housepawsmobilevet.com/foundation

Meet Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter – learn all they do for the animals at BCAS!

We’ll be collecting most-needed items from the Burlington County Animal Shelter’s kitty wish list.

Swag bags full of giveaways from our generous sponsors and presenters. Complimentary lunch, Raffles, 50/50 & More! See our Sponsors at: www.ivegotthescoop.net/sponsors.html

Visit our Symposium web page: www.ivegotthescoop.net/2015-symposium.html

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SJPetWellnessSymposium2015


PetsitUSA Blog

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God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments by Rose Chandler Johnson (Book Review)

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments by Rose Chandler Johnson My rating: 5 of 5 stars The goal of a good devotional should be one that causes you to pause, to reflect, to focus on God and His word. This isn’t to say that many don’t, but…



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Sunflower Faith

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Veridba na Blagica i Mite – 09.11.2014 Banica – 2 del

Videoto ne e snimeno od strana na Vega produkcija i e prikaceno po naracka na gazdite na veselbata. This video is not recorded by Vega production and it`s attached by order of the owners of…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

“La grosse mite” LES SALES BLAGUES DE L’ECHO.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Old White Dogs

I always wondered why after risking our lives on the Pacific Coast Highway for 7 months and 1,700 miles the media really didn’t give a shit and now I know.

Read this article http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-rethinking-muir-20141113-story.html#page=1
Well at least you clarified that for me why we matter so little in your existence.  We’re old white dogs.  

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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Dachshund stuck underneath a concrete slab for 13 days

A couple in Kansas learned a painful and dramatic lesson about Dachshunds and their genetic proclivity to dig when their dog Lucy suddenly disappeared from their backyard. Lucy’s owner, Rebecca Felix, left her husband in change of their two dogs, Lucy, a miniature Dachshund, and Thor, a Chihuahua-Jack Russell Terrier mix, when she left town to care for a family member. He left the dogs in a fenced-in yard while he was at work and…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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I was shocked by that first photo, because the eco…

I was shocked by that first photo, because the economy is really improving, so I actually went on Zillow and searched for foreclosure and pre-foreclosure homes in Oakland, and there were plenty (over a 100) but not nearly as many as your visual seems to show? What am I missing? In my neighborhood in Oakland (not a great neighborhood, definitely not the toughest), houses are almost back to early 2008 values now and foreclosures are way down from where they were a few years ago.

Regardless, it is still a sad reality that many dogowners are forced to give up their beautiful dogs involuntarily when they lose their home, and I strongly support providing dog owners (rich and poor!) with as much support as possible. Thanks for all your hard work.
BAD RAP Blog

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Playful Golden Retriever Puppy

Playful Golden Retriever puppy having a fun day at the park! What could be better than that?

The post Playful Golden Retriever Puppy appeared first on A Place to Love Dogs.

A Place to Love Dogs

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‘Ours’ – my new dog!

Meet my new dog! He’s called Ours, which means Bear in French and he’s a mix of a Grand Griffon Vendeen and probably some other large hunting dog. He’s five and a half years old. I’ll never forget Beau and Mia and Milou and Peggotty and Mistletoe and Scramble and all the wonderful dogs who have lived with me in the past but there is always enough love for a needy dog and goodness, there are enough poor dogs in shelters in this area alone.

The hunter who owned Ours wanted to shoot him – apparently he wasn’t any good as a hunting dog! – but fortunately someone rescued him but couldn’t keep him as he lived in a studio, so delivered him to the refuge where he has lived for the past two years. He arrived with injuries to a leg and terribly thin.

He’s terrified of men in particular but meeting anyone new is a trauma for him. He’s never lived in a house so all the sounds of a house scare him and outside sounds he doesn’t know, like cars on the autoroute worry him greatly.

Having said all that he is a total love and in only 48 hours has found the places in the house where he feels safe: at my feet when I’m at the computer and by my bed!

I found his photo on the website of the SDA of Nice which is in Tourettes-Levens. Most impressive refuge, spotlessly clean and all the dogs well cared for and lovely people working there who cried when Ours left with me. 

Isn’t he gorgeous!

(Thanks so much to my friend, Sheila, who came to the refuge with me and stroked Ours in the back of the car on the way home. It made all the difference. Sheila has been with me when I’ve adopted several dogs in the past. She has a wonderful calm manner. And she has a great dog herself – Gucci, a Welsh terrier).

~

Voici mon nouveau chien! Il s’appelle Ours, c’est un mélange de Grand Griffon Vendéen et probablement d’un autre grand chien de chasse. Il a cinq ans et demi. Je n’oublierai jamais Beau, Mia, Milou, Peggotty,  Mistletoe et Scramble et tous les merveilleux chiens qui ont vécu avec moi dans le passé,  mais il y a toujours assez d’amour pour un chien en manque d’un foyer et malheureusement il y en a beaucoup dans des abris de la région PACA.

Le chasseur à qui il appartenait a voulu le tuer – apparemment il n’était pas assez bon comme chien de chasse! – et heureusement quelqu’un l’a sauvé.  Mais ne pouvant  pas le garder dans le studio où il  vivait, cette personne l’a laissé  au refuge où il a vécu les deux dernières années. Il y est arrivé avec des blessures à une jambe et très maigre.

Il est terrifié par les hommes en particulier et  la rencontre avec quelqu’un de nouveau est un trauma pour lui. Il n’a jamais vécu dans une maison donc tous les sons de celle-ci l’effrayent ainsi que ceux de l’extérieur qu’il ne connaît pas, tels les voitures sur l’autoroute qui l’inquiètent grandement.

Ceci dit, c’ est un amour et en seulement 48 heures,  il a trouvé les endroits dans la maison où il se sent en sûreté: à mes pieds quand je suis à l’ordinateur et à côté de mon lit!

J’ai trouvé sa photo sur le site Web de la SDA de Nice, qui se trouve à Tourettes-Levens. Un refuge  impressionnant, extrêmement propre où tous les chiens sont bien soignés par les gens charmants qui y travaillent et qui ont pleuré quand Ours est parti avec moi.

N’est pas il magnifique!



RIVIERA DOGS

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