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The Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics
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Introduction to 12 Topics

“The pleasures arising from thinking and learning will make us think and learn all the more”

-Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

Welcome to the SVME 12 Topics pages!

The 12 Topics Project was formed to engage our members in focused and thoughtful deliberation over

difficult ethical issues important to them. In keeping with our mission “to promote discussion and

debate about ethical issues arising in and relevant to veterinary practice”, our project aims to increase

the understanding of the philosophical, social, moral, and ethical values encountered by the veterinary


Each Topic, nominated and voted on by SVME members, will have a Title page, a Resource page, and an

Interactive Forum page for discussion of each issue. Feel free to navigate through each of the tabs/links

and familiarize yourself with each topic and use the site as you see fit. However, we recommend reading

the Title piece in order to gain a shared understanding of terms, concepts and arguments presented

before entering the topic’s dedicated forum.

The 12 Topics pages are hosted by the SVME and are intended to provide information and supplemental

learning tools to professionals and students interested in veterinary ethics. They are not designed to

answer questions regarding specific clinical, legal, professional, or ethical cases.

Topic Selection - SVME members will be notified of upcoming nomination and voting rounds. Any

member is welcome and encouraged to nominate and vote for topics they would like to see included in

the 12 Topics Project.

Author Selection - Topic specialists and authors will be drawn from both inside and outside of the

veterinary field. They may be general practitioners with a special interest or experience with the topic,

or they may be national/world leaders in academics, veterinary ethics, or have relevant interdisciplinary

credentials. Veterinary ethics and animal ethics have significant implications for many professions, and it

is our hope to promote interdisciplinary dialogue by welcoming all related professionals and students,

worldwide to participate in this project.

Title Pages – Each topic has a dedicated Title page with a Title piece, links to that topic’s resource page

and that topic’s dedicated forum. The original Title pieces recruited for this project are meant to be

introductory for each topic, meaning that they are fair, balanced, and thorough representations of major

points/counterpoints surrounding difficult or complex issues. They are not opinion pieces and should

(ideally) not contain normative assertions. We have intentionally presented the Title pieces in this

manner to encourage members to thoroughly explore each topic in a non-biased manner, and to

thoughtfully and deliberatively engage with the issues and evidence presented. We understand that

some members (fairly) believe that any platform should be used for advocacy. However, we maintain

that this project and our educational mission is best served by providing impartial introductory Title

pieces. Each original Title piece is copyrighted by the author and subject to such restrictions (see SVMA

copyright notice).

Resource Pages - Our resource page for each topic provides links to supplemental materials including a

balance of relevant moral theory, applied ethics, empirical studies, legislation, and applicable

perspectives from different areas of study. Because ethics is an interdisciplinary venture, we want to

include a variety of perspectives across the natural and social sciences and humanities. Resource links

are not held to the impartial standard of the Title pieces, and some may include strong opinions, beliefs,

and normative assertions, all of which are welcome as a launching point for discussion. We will build on

the resource pages with any new studies or changing context relevant to each topic. We welcome any

resource suggestions to enrich our common understanding of each issue.


Discussion/Forum Page - A discussion forum link will be available for each topic as it is

posted. The forums are intended to share opinions, stories, perspectives, and experiences that will allow

SVME members to engage in rich discussion and debate for each topic. All forums will be moderated by

administrators in order to provide a safe space for interested professionals and students to ask and

answer questions on these subjects in a respectful manner.

© SVME 2024 - 2020.

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