Development of a moral judgment measure for veterinary education

Verrinder, Joy M. and Phillips, Clive J. C. (2014) Development of a moral judgment measure for veterinary education. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 41 3: 258-264. doi:10.3138/jvme.1113-152R1

Author Verrinder, Joy M.
Phillips, Clive J. C.
Title Development of a moral judgment measure for veterinary education
Journal name Journal of Veterinary Medical Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0748-321X
Publication date 2014-09-05
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3138/jvme.1113-152R1
Open Access Status
Volume 41
Issue 3
Start page 258
End page 264
Total pages 7
Place of publication Toronto, Canada
Publisher University of Toronto Press * Journals Division
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Veterinarians increasingly face animal ethics issues, conflicts, and dilemmas, both in practice and in policy, such as the tension between clients' and animals' interests. Little has been done to measure the capacity of veterinarians to make ethical judgments to prevent and address these issues or to identify the effectiveness of strategies to build this capacity. The objectives of this study were, first, to develop a test to identify the capacity of veterinarians to make ethical decisions in relation to animal ethics issues and, second, to assess students' perceptions of the usefulness of three methods for the development of ethical decision making. The Veterinary Defining Issues Test (VetDIT) was piloted with 88 first-year veterinary students at an Australian university. The veterinary students were at a variety of reasoning stages in their use of the Personal Interest (PI), Maintaining Norms (MN), and Universal Principles (UP) reasoning methods in relation to both human ethics and animal ethics issues and operated at a higher level of reasoning for animal than human ethics. Thirty-eight students assessed three methods for developing ethical decision-making skills and identified these as being helpful in clarifying their positions, clarifying others' positions, increasing awareness of the complexity of making ethical decisions, using ethical frameworks and principles, and improving moral reasoning skills, with two methods identified as most helpful. These methods and the VetDIT have the potential to be used as tools for development and assessment of moral judgment in veterinary education to address animal ethics issues.
Keyword Moral judgment
Veterinary ethics
Animal ethics
Defining Issues Test
Veterinary education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 03 Oct 2014, 15:23:59 EST by Annette Winter on behalf of School of Veterinary Science