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Blue Juice: Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine: Introduction

By Patricia Morris

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This is the introduction to "Blue Juice: Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine."

Offering a candid behind-the-scenes look at small-animal veterinary practices, "Blue Juice" explores the emotional and ethical conflicts involved in providing a "good death" for companion animals. Patricia Morris presents a nuanced ethnographic account of how veterinarians manage patient care and client relations when their responsibility shifts from saving an animal's life to negotiating a decision to end it.

Using not only her own experiences and observations in veterinary settings but also the voices of both seasoned and novice veterinarians, Morris reveals how practitioners think about euthanasia and why this "dirty work" can precipitate burnout, moral quandaries, and tense or emotional interactions with clients. Closely examining these interactions, Morris illuminates the ways in which euthanasia reflects deep and unresolved tension in human-animal relationships.

"Blue Juice" seeks to understand how practitioners, charged with the difficult task of balancing the interests of their animal patients and their human clients, deal with the responsibility of ending their patients' lives.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2012
Publication Title Blue Juice: Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine
Pages 244
Series Title Animals, Culture, and Society
ISBN/ISSN 9781439907061
Publisher Temple University Press
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Cats
  4. Dogs
  5. Euthanasia
  6. Illnesses
  7. Mammals
  8. Older adults
  9. Pet ownership
  10. Pets and companion animals
  11. sociology
  12. Veterinarians
  13. veterinary practices