Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Veterinarians Who Perform Euthanasia at Greater Risk for Depression: Study

But those that did more often had a lower risk of suicide.

From an abstract:

A cross-sectional survey sampled 540 Australia-registered veterinarians (63.8% women), ranging in age from 23 to 74. Results revealed that the administration of objectionable euthanasia (i.e., euthanasia that the veterinarian disagreed with) was not related to our mental health variables. In contrast, overall euthanasia frequency had a weak positive linear relationship with depression. Moreover, overall euthanasia frequency moderated the impact of depression on suicide risk. The nature of this moderation suggested that average frequency per week of performing euthanasia attenuated the relationship between depressed mood and suicide risk.

This has implications for human euthanasia.

If euthanasia becomes generalized, will doctors become more depressed from having to perform it?

J Occup Health Psychol. 2014 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print]
The Distinct Role of Performing Euthanasia on Depression and Suicide in Veterinarians.
Tran L, Crane MF, Phillips JK.