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Home » The Emotional Costs of Euthanasia: Sarah Hoggan DVM (Transcript)

The Emotional Costs of Euthanasia: Sarah Hoggan DVM (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Sarah Hoggan DVM’s talk titled “The Emotional Costs of Euthanasia” at TEDxTemecula conference.

In this TEDx talk, Sarah Hoggan, DVM, offers a profound insight into the emotional complexities faced by veterinarians during the process of euthanasia. She highlights the paradox of euthanasia as both an act of kindness and a source of significant emotional pain, shedding light on the internal conflicts experienced by pet owners and veterinarians alike.

Hoggan discusses the various “emotional fees” associated with euthanasia decisions, such as hindsight regret and the feeling of betrayal towards the animal’s trust. Through personal anecdotes, including the heart-wrenching story of her own dog, Cooper, Hoggan illustrates the deep emotional impact these decisions have on those who make them. She emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and processing these emotions to avoid the buildup of unresolved grief.

Hoggan’s talk also touches on the broader implications of these emotional costs, including their contribution to the high rate of suicide within the veterinary profession. By sharing strategies for coping with the emotional toll of euthanasia, she offers a message of hope and resilience for veterinary professionals navigating these challenging situations.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Magic of Healing

The best part of being a veterinarian is when you get to send a patient home. And I don’t mean the ones that come in for a spay or a neuter or a vaccine. I mean the ones that are carried in, the ones that don’t respond when they are taken from the safe and loving arms of their family by a stranger. I mean the ones that when you see them, you are not confident that you’re going to be able to fix that patient and send them home.

So when they do go home, it’s like watching magic happen. The dogs go up front to see their families, and they are so excited. They bark, and they cry, and they wag not just their tail but their whole back end. And cats – the cool kids of the animal world – lose their minds. They’re purring and they’re rubbing against the carrier because they’re so happy and they get to go home. It’s literally watching magic happen.

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