Thursday, June 16, 2005

More on Pets

Yesterday’s post attracted a number of comments and emails. (What was the number? Sheesh! Don’t get so bogged down in details! It was a number, OK?)

Another of my alert readers drew my attention to the following article in USA Today on March 14, 2005.

The article begins:

“The patient had dental surgery, there were complications, and he died. Now his family members are accusing the doctor of negligence and claiming that the episode caused them emotional distress.

It's a typical medical malpractice case — except in this 3-year-old dispute, the patient was a sheepdog named Lucky.”

Ok, if that got your attention like it did mine, go HERE to read the article.

A key sentence in the article is: “In a reflection of the special place that pets have come to hold in Americans' hearts, U.S. courts are bucking centuries of legal decisions that have defined animals as property.”

Well, yeah. Pets DO hold a special place in the hearts of their owners. That’s why I cried when my canine companions died.

But even an old softie like ME realizes that there are limits when it comes to how much I’d spend to help a pet get well. And on how much I would award (were I to be seated on that jury) for mental anguish when a pet died.

There are those who will immediately think of all the children and other humans who desperately need medical care, and deplore the fact that (as the article points out) tens of thousands are spent to prolong the life of a pet.

I don’t know the answer. But I’m glad that in America I can spend my own money on what I think is important. Well, except for the part of it that the government collects as taxes and spends in any way my representatives vote to spend it.

But that’s a political diatribe and the subject for some other post.

Any opinions on that article?


GMadrid said...

Hi, I hit Next Blog and stumbled on your site. Good Discussion topic. I don't understand why doctors have to be infallible. I am sure that this vet did everything he could to save this sheepdog. Emotional distress... Sure, but there is a limit. Most parents end up telling their kids that the dog went to live on a farm when they put it down. Death is a part of our existance like it or not. Suing others also is, but I think we as a society need to find a limit to foolishness. Those are my thoughts.

kenju said...

I think this is taking it a bit too far. I love animals, have some now and have always had at least one pet, but I would draw the line at suing over a pet's death or even spending huge amounts on vet care.

A guy I work with just spent $1300 to cure an intestinal obstruction in his cat (hair ball). I could not afford to do that, but even if I could, I'd have a tendency to say "It's just an animal". I know I'll probably get in trouble for voicing that opinion.

I don't know where I found your blog, Duke, probably in someone's comments or blogroll. I'll be back.

Karyn Lyndon said...

It's upsetting to me to hear about someone spending money on their dog's insulin shots or their cat's lukemia meds when they can't even pay their own bills. (I know of 2 people in this situation right now.) You've got to draw the line somewhere and let Rover or Fluffy go to that great hunting ground in the sky...

schnoodlepooh said...

I would spend whatever money necessary to help a friend in need - and that friend could be my pet. I would sacrifice things for myself, I would run up credit cards, I would do whatever it takes. It's NOT "JUST AN ANIMAL". That is my family member, loyal friend, trusted confidant. That creature has always been there for me, no matter what my circumstances. You bet I would do whatever necessary. (and I have...)