Bereavement Grief And Euthanasia

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Bereavement Grief And Euthanasia

  1. 1. Bereavement, Grief and Euthanasia
  2. 2. <ul><li>Companion animals provide both parents and children with stability, constancy, and security </li></ul><ul><li>The human animal bond has made our pets part of the family </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Pets are used to meet many of the changing psycho-social needs of modern society </li></ul><ul><li>When pet loss occurs, intensity and duration of attachment determine the significance of the loss and intensity of grief that follows. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Pets can take on symbolic meaning as reminders of both pleasant and traumatic events in people’s lives. </li></ul><ul><li>The degree of attachment is different for each pet and owner </li></ul>
  5. 5. Keys to attachment <ul><li>Owners believe that they rescued their pet from death or near death </li></ul><ul><li>Owners believe that their pet got them through a difficult period in life </li></ul><ul><li>Owner spent their childhood with their pet </li></ul>
  6. 6. Keys to attachment <ul><li>Owner has relied on their pet as their most significant source of support </li></ul><ul><li>Owner anthropomorphizes their pet </li></ul><ul><li>Owner has invested significant time, effort and money into their pets long term medical care </li></ul><ul><li>Owners view their pet as symbolic links to significant people who are no longer in their lives or to significant times in their lives. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Pets can take on symbolic meaning as reminders of both pleasant and traumatic events in people’s lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Grief can be intense </li></ul><ul><li>Grief is very individual, and each family member may grieve in a unique way </li></ul>
  8. 8. As a child <ul><li>Did you have a pet as a child? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of pet did you have as a child? </li></ul><ul><li>Was it special to you? </li></ul><ul><li>Tell us why it was a special pet. </li></ul><ul><li>What happened to it? </li></ul>
  9. 9. As an adult <ul><li>As an adult, have you have a pet die? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of pet was it? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s was it’s name? </li></ul><ul><li>How was it special to you? </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Have you ever had to euthanize a pet? </li></ul><ul><li>Who made the decision? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>A dog comes in and is diagnosed with systemic lymphosarcoma. </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanize or not? </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>A chicken has a fractured leg. </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanize or not? </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>A cat with feline aids. </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanize or not? </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Barbaro. </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanize or not? </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>A 4 year old hamster with a tumor. </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanize or not? </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>A cow with a chronic history of prolapsed uterus. </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanize or not? </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>A cow with a chronic history of prolapsed uterus. </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanize or not? </li></ul><ul><li>A cow wouldn’t be euthenized, it would be shipped to slaughter </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>What is your opinion about the use of animals or animal products for food, clothing, research, entertainment, or competition? </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Your personal values may effect your perception and beliefs about euthanasia. </li></ul><ul><li>As a professional, you will have to participate in assisting in the process of euthanasia </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>It is important to understand your own feelings in order to be able to assist the client with their decision regarding euthanasia </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, you do not to make this process more difficult for the client by projecting your values into the situation </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>The euthanasia process </li></ul><ul><li>Explaining euthanasia to clients </li></ul><ul><li>Empathizing with clients </li></ul>
  22. 22. Death and Dying <ul><li>Kübler-Ross: Stages of dying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Denial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bargaining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final acceptance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bereavement and mourning </li></ul>
  23. 23. denial <ul><li>People are uncomfortable talking about death and dying </li></ul><ul><li>People don’t consider that most pet’s life spans are much shorter than ours and that the grieving process is part of pet ownership </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Veterinarians and technicians are confronted daily with complex issues of attachment, loss and grief in the course of their patients’ illnesses and deaths </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Many times clients turn to the veterinary staff as sources of support, comfort, and understanding at and around the time of their pet’s death </li></ul><ul><li>Veterinary staff have a unique position since they have an understanding of the bond between owner and pet </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Veterinary staff have the ability and responsibility to assist clients going through the process of grief when their beloved pet dies </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>You must give the client </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empathy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The permission to grieve </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Places to contact for help or referral sources for help with grief <ul><li>Box 38-3 pg 1184 in text </li></ul>
  29. 29. Dealing with children and death <ul><li>tell them the TRUTH </li></ul><ul><li>Explain in simple terms </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use euphemisms </li></ul><ul><li>Contact children’s support system </li></ul><ul><li>TRUTH!!!!!!! </li></ul>
  30. 30. Factors that may complicate the grief process <ul><li>Box 38-5 pg 1187 in text </li></ul>
  31. 31. Veterinarians and technicians <ul><li>Work with death and client grief on an almost daily basis </li></ul><ul><li>Are emotionally involved with each patient </li></ul><ul><li>Are affected by every patient’s death </li></ul><ul><li>Need to assist in the euthanasia process </li></ul><ul><li>Need to deal with their own emotional health </li></ul><ul><li>Can burn out easily if not also allowed to grieve </li></ul>

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