When a Pet Dies

TitleWhen a Pet Dies
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate Authorsof Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, IIT
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsprofessional responsibility , Veterinary Science
AbstractAuthor James Herriot related the story of Ms. Tompkins and her parakeet, Peter. Herriot, a veterinarian, visited the home of the frail and elderly widow to clip the beak of her parakeet. A Herriot reached into the cage and gently picked up the bird, it fell limp in his hand. Peter, apparently frightened, had died from heart failure. Fearing that the knowledge of Peter's death might greatly upset Mrs. Tompkins, Herriot decided not to tell her that her pet had died and instead tells her that he will trim the bird's beak at his office. Herriot finds a suitable substitute budgie at a pet store. Placing "Peter the Second" in the cage, Herriot assured Ms. Tompkins that all should be well know. Having poor eyesight, Ms. Tompkins was never the wiser and believed that Peter was revitalized as a result of having his beak cut.
NotesCase study from the 1994 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.
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