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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Sad Story of Tammy the Puppy

What if Tammy is not a dog but a little child, a toddler? Will we see a statement like that one day?

"Doctors have a responsibility to consider not just the welfare of the patient, but also the concerns and circumstances of the caregivers. Doctors will provide medical advice and administer the necessary treatment to patients, and may at times be called upon to euthanize a patient for various reasons, such as to alleviate their suffering, or if they are aggressive. This is also the practice of the medical profession in the [insert name of countries]

All doctors are trained on the ethics and techniques of euthanasia using the most humane method that is internationally accepted. Before euthanizing a patient, the doctor will conduct the necessary professional assessment and satisfy himself that euthanasia is a reasonable option considering the circumstances. The doctor will ascertain ownership of the patient and discuss with the caregiver the various options available so that the caregiver can make the final informed decision. The decision, however, is ultimately the responsibility and right of caregiver.

In advising the caregiver, the doctor, has to also be mindful of the implications of not acceding to a request for an aggressive child to be euthanized, such as the client's potential distress and safety threats to the caregiver, his/her family, another unknowing adopter or the general public.

MOH has looked into the facts of the case in the media reports. The caregiver had considered alternatives such as putting the child up for adoption before deciding to have her euthanized. The clinic, The [insert name of Clinic], had followed protocol before putting down the child, including discussing with the caregiver the alternatives.

The clinic experienced first-hand the aggressiveness of the patient. Prior to the euthanasia of the child on 7 Oct 2013, other doctors in The Clinic, who examined her also found her behaviour to be hostile, and in subsequent visits the degree of her aggressiveness escalated. On her last visit to the clinic on 7 Oct 2013, she could not be pacified by clinic staff and needed sedation for procedures that required more handling.

While the arrangement between the Orphanage and the adopter is a private matter, MOH would like to stress that only children of suitable temperament and health should be re-homed.

MOH urges calm by all parties concerned, and advises the Orphange to recognise the adopter's good intentions when adopting the child in the first instance and to settle the matter amicably."

Where is our soul, our compassion? Must we cull and kill everything that gets in our way? Monkey, wild boars, dogs, cats... the old and frail? the people of no value to our society? God forbids that we will ever see these days when our society become so callous but sadly I think it will happen. Hopefully, I won't live to see or be one of those who had to be euthanized because I had become "too aggressive" in my demented old age!

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