DRAFT Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics (PVME)

The Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics (PVME) are a set of behaviors that are either expected or required of members of the veterinary profession and, as such, serve as a Code of Conduct for veterinarians. Veterinarians are held in high esteem by the public, in no small part due to these behaviors.

These Principles, overseen by the AVMA’s Council on Veterinary Service, are intended to guide veterinarians in providing quality veterinary services and upholding the dignity of the profession in a variety of situations and circumstances.

What to expect in the new version

The existing PVME incudes three sections: Principles, Principles with Supporting Annotations, and Useful Terms.

After reviewing the principles of other professions that involve similar ethical decision-making, i.e., balancing competing interests in specific situations, the AVMA’s Council on Veterinary Service decided to add a Code of Conduct that more clearly describes specific principles that could help veterinarians contemplating these decisions.

These are some of the changes in the DRAFT PVME:

  • Addition of a Code of Conduct, based heavily on the existing Principles and Supporting Annotations, with some clarifying edits
  • Removal of a separate section for Supporting Annotations—their rationale is incorporated within the Code of Conduct
  • Renaming of the Useful Terms section to Definitions

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