From today's New York Times Opinion page
: "Veterinary medicine has made big leaps in recent years, which is great news for ailing dogs and cats — but raises some tough questions for humans. With the availability of treatments like bone-marrow transplants and heart stents, it is now easy to spend $10,000 to $25,000 on medical procedures for a pet.
Knowing that many humans die of preventable illnesses, or even considering that many dogs and cats are euthanized in overcrowded animal shelters, can a person justify spending that much money to prolong one animal’s life? If so, is it ethical to have a pet if you cannot afford such treatments?"
I would add, "...and even if you could afford it, is it in the best interest of humans who could benefit from the money for its use in research and treatment of human diseases? Is there a point where the life of a pet cat or dog becomes of less value than preserving the life and existence of it's owner or other humans in general?
Go and read about this ethical issue and read the full commentaries by the 6 contributors to the discussion and the responses from the public. Here is the introductions by each of the contributors:
"When our 6-year-old Labrador was dying, the vet said, “There’s nothing we can do.” We weren’t prepared to give up so easily."
"Even if a treatment option is promising, people must consider the cost and caregiving burdens."
"When you acquire a pet, you sign up to care for it for the duration of its life — but not 'at any cost.'"
"The first question is: Will the procedure improve the quality of life for the pet, or prolong suffering?"
"Spending $10,000 on chemotherapy for your golden retriever is no more unethical than spending it on a two-week vacation in Tuscany."
"There is no shame in euthanizing a pet, if it is done out of love. Nor is there shame in spending money to prolong a pet's life."
Come back and write your opinions here. ..Maurice.