Cost of extending life: Stop-treatment points edge higher, DVM survey says
State of the Profession, 2006
Jul 01, 2006
NATIONAL REPORT — $1,451: It's the price most clients will stop treatment of a sick or injured animal, veterinarians report.
Over the last three years, the average has been on the incline, up 34 percent since 2003, according to an exclusive DVM Newsmagazine survey (Methodology). The escalating price could be reflective of a sign of our times, the growing importance of the human-animal bond and a profession that is steadily becoming more accepting of a third-party payment system to extend life.
The decision to euthanize is most frequently left up to clients according to 75 percent of respondents, the other 25-percent of cases are initiated by the doctor's recommendation, the survey reports. Three-quarters of veterinarians report their clients' decisions to euthanize are "about right." About 17 percent of cases were considered "too soon", and the other 9 percent were "not soon enough."
In 2006, veterinarians report that in about 38 percent of cases, cost limited treatment, another 32 percent report that cost influenced his or her decisions to treat and 41 percent of respondents cite that cost was not a factor at all (multiple answers were allowed).