All of us, as tutors and animal lovers, know well the importance of choosing a trained and committed veterinarian, in whom we can trust the integrity and well-being of our best friends.
However, sometimes we forget that, as citizens, we must also know the veterinary responsibility for negligence and knowwhen and how can we report a professional for malpractice in the practice of veterinary medicine.
Of course it is equally important – and fair – to understand that veterinary medicine, as its equivalent dedicated to human beings, is not an exact or infallible science.
Unfortunately, there are many diseases that can severely compromise the health of animals, as well as accidents that can lead to irreversible damage to your body.
Before filing charges against a professional, it is necessary to assess the situation well, without letting the sadness over the death or the damage to the health of our pet can lead us to commit an unfair and improper accusation.
Although it costs, it is necessary to know how to set aside the storm of emotionsand apply common sense. And when assessing the situation well, it is essential to reflect whether it is a case of malpractice or neglect by a veterinarian (or not).
In short, we don’t have to hurry to look for guilty people at random when we feel pain. It is normal to worry about our pets, but worry should not lead us into the terrain of the irrational. That way we will only succeed in deepening our suffering.
What is the veterinary responsibility for negligence and when is it possible to report it?
A large part of the complaints made against registered veterinarians in Spain, focus on cases of wrong diagnoses and bad praxis in performing clinical or operative procedures.
However, it is very common for tutors to have doubts abouthow to recognize a case of negligence or malpractice,without having specific training or knowledge about veterinary medicine themselves.
First of all, we must know that, according to the jurisprudential doctrine in force in Spain, veterinary responsibility for negligence is based on the means, and not specifically to the results.
This means that eThe veterinarian has a civil responsibility to give all the care to his patients, with the clear objective of preserving their good health and physical and cognitive integrity. As well as offering information to their owners about the diagnosis, practices and treatments that will be carried out on an animal.
However, it is recognized that the effectiveness of an outpatient treatment or surgical intervention,For example, it does not depend exclusively on the ability or will of a professional.
The results obtained by a veterinary treatment or practice They will also be linked to the state of health, metabolism and severity of the condition or damage caused to each patient.
In turn, the Court of Ethics determines that any negligence or malpractice cannot be understood as any procedure or action carried out with the intention of saving the life of the animal.Even if they do not have the desired effects and the animal dies.
The key point here is confirm the origin of the diagnosis and the validity of the treatment administered, and not only the results obtained from its application.
Thus, The death or the generation of irreversible damage to the animal’s health may not always be attributed to the veterinarian’s work. Unless it is verified that the professional has made mistakes or errors when diagnosing the condition and recommending the appropriate treatment. Either in his procedure to administer said treatment or during the performance of a surgical intervention.
When does the complaint for negligence proceed?
In general, whenever the diagnosis, practices or treatments applied do not correspond to the patient’s health condition, leading to unnecessary damage, suffering or risk to your well-being.
We can also report when it is found that a professional is not properly trained and trained to practice veterinary medicine, or does not have the facilities and equipment necessary to carry out the practices offered in your clinic.
If your pet is a victim of malpractice in a veterinary clinic or hospital, you can go to the Ethics Committee (Deontological) of the College of Veterinarians corresponding to your city or region, to make the formal complaint.
Remember that it will be necessary to provide some basic information about the professional, such as your name, registration number and the address of the clinic or hospital where you care for your patients, as well as the circumstances involved in the complaint.