According to Dr. Jeff Rothstein, who is the president of the progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group in Michigan, it is seen as a risky business despite it not being necessarily impossible. Many people have found themselves struggling with the issue where some of whom it has happened to decide not to share it simply because they do not like to do so. The issue is a big problem where professionalism and protection of the business are essential. If the relationship fails, it can get messy, starting with losing the client and other potential customers who hear about it to destroying the reputation of the business.
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It is well-being know that post-termination of the relationship between the veterinarian and clients is possible and no denial that the termination would hurt the client–veterinarian relationship. Additionally, veterinary and clients are brought together by a specific aspect, which is to attend to the animal rather than to seek intimacy. Besides, many veterinary and clients who find themselves entering a relationship make autonomous choices to get themselves involved thus making it challenging to discern forced relationships. Also, it can be understood that life is too short, and finding love is hard, and one would like to take any opportunity that presents itself if they observe the stipulated guidelines.
The ethical issue in relationship between the veterinarian and the client is whether the aspect of intimacy obeys the veterinarian-relationship guidelines, which are part of the AVMA’s principles of veterinary medical ethics (Rosoff et al., 2018). No matter how the relationship might be doing well, it is out of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship context. Additionally, it would be unethical for the veterinarian to break the professionalism difference with the clients by turning away from the main point of interest which is to attend to the client and get involved in personal driven interest. This would encourage inappropriate relationships with clients. Some of the veterinarians might take it as an advantage to exploit their clients sexually. Besides, engaging in a sexual relationship with clients breaks the fundamental principle of professional ethical behavior thus questioning the client- veterinarian intimate relationship.
The issue might not have an impact on the veterinarian alone despite him/her being the immediate stakeholders affected. As a result, it will impact several stakeholders in the business. Firstly, the co-veterinarians who might be concerned about why strict measures and laws governing their relationship with clients are not taken if a given veterinary gets involved in such practice. Some might perceive it as discrimination. Besides, the practice stimulates and encourages more veterinarians to cope with the exploitation intention.
The management of the veterinary also would be another stakeholder affected. In this case, the management suffers from their business being tarnished if the relations of a single veterinary do not work. Secondly, management suffers from the loss of clients. The affected clients are not likely to engage the business anymore, and they might end up discouraging other potential customers from getting services in the same veterinary.
The surrounding community also forms part of the shareholders who would be affected. In such a case, the community is likely to develop a negative attitude towards the business in case, the client and veterinarian who had entered a relationship turn against each other. The community might have the perception that the act would interfere with the morals of the nearby society. Additionally, the issue of intimate relationships might result in losses to the businesses in case the relationship does not work since the business is likely to lose clients. Besides, it compromises veterinary-client patient relationship law regarding the relationship between client and veterinarian.
Some of the principles that govern the relationships between the veterinarian and the clients include the following. Firstly, the veterinarian is expected to be influenced only by the satisfaction of the client, the needs of the client, the safety of the public, and the essence to uphold the public trust vested in the veterinary profession and, therefore, one should avoid conflict of interest. In such a case, the veterinarian is not allowed to allow other interests, such as intimate relationships, to influence animal care choices. Secondly, the veterinarian is entitled to respect the rights of the clients enshrined in the law and recognizes a responsibility to seek changes to laws and regulations which are contrary to the interest of the client. Besides, clients in the veterinary have the right to terminate the VCPR when they feel uncomfortable or their interests not being met (Morgan & McDonald, 2007). On top of the clients having the option to terminate the VCPR whenever there is no medication offered, they also have the right to terminate the relationship if their rights are violated or they are being exploited by the veterinarian.
In regard to engage in an intimate relationship with a client, I would recommend the following. First, the concerned veterinarian should consider either preferring his profession by considering dropping the relationship. Alternatively, the veterinary can consider resigning his or her job working in the veterinary if they feel that the relationship is more important than the current job. This would help in preventing loss of clients and also avoidance of other veterinarian taking the advantage to engage inappropriate relationships.
Secondly, I would recommend that if the first choice does not work, the concerned veterinarian should engage the boss regarding the issue to give them a chance of discussing the issue openly. Also, I would recommend that the boss and the concerned veterinarian to keep the rest of the team out of the issue if the two are open about it until things have progressed. Lastly, I would recommend that the two engaging in the relationship to consider coming to an agreement more so at the presence of boss that incase the relationship does not work, each of the parties shall be deemed to protecting the business from being affected.
In conclusion, engaging the clients into a relationship is unethical and unacceptable in business following its implications to the business and the profession of the veterinarian more so if the relationship does not work. The practice violates the fundamental principle governing the relationship of the veterinarian and client where the veterinarian is not allowed self-interest to control them.
Intimate relationship has a high possibility of ignoring the principle where the interest of the veterinarian is interested in entering a relationship with the client. In such a case, the veterinarian might end up being influenced by the enthusiasm, thus doing contrary to what he is entitled to while attending the client. However, most of the owners would let its team understand that client relationship are unacceptable without stipulating the conditions validating the claim. As a result, it gives room for exceptional cases where several factors must be put in place.
As observed in the above discussion, the framework which limits such kind of relationship includes cases where the veterinary has the motive of exploiting the client; the relationship violates the rights of the clients or the relationship does not ensure the satisfaction of the client’s needs. As a result, this leads to situations where engaging the client might not necessarily be unethical thus presenting a dilemma. For instance, if the client’s consent is involved before entering into the relationship with the client, it might be possible to classify it as unethical.
Also, in a case where the veterinarian is upfront with the boss to ensure he or she is not blinded by the relationship and gives the boss a chance to talk about it with the veterinarian openly while keeping the rest out of it. Therefore, the intimate relationship between veterinarian and client is possible but proceed with caution for it not to be considered unethical. This paper would conclude that intimate relationships should be avoided at all costs since it is backfiring would not only impact those engaged but also it would have an impact on the business. Besides, creating a room for exceptional cases would promote discrimination and diversion of attention.
close relationship with the client. (2021, Nov 29).
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