Med. Weter. 75

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IZABELLA BABIŃSKA, IRENEUSZ SOŁTYSZEWSKI, JUSTYNA KARAŹNIEWICZ, JÓZEF SZAREK, MARIUSZ Z. FELSMANN, ANDRZEJ DZIKOWSKI
Veterinary necropsy in the light of ethics and law
Legal norms determine the rules for conducting a veterinary necropsy to a limited extent, leaving the regulation of this matter to the veterinary art. The norms of binding Polish law and rules of veterinary professional ethics in relation to conducting a necropsy are analyzed and interpreted. The ethical and legal aspects of the veterinary surgeon’s activities have been highlighted. Non-observance of these rules during the post-mortem examination of animals may result in the incompatibility of the proceedings with the principle of acting lege artis, the effect of which is civil and professional liability. Moreover, when the section was commissioned by the authorities, inappropriate conditions or the manner in which it was carried out (including legal and ethical premises) may diminish the meaning of the section protocol as evidence. It should be remembered that animal corpses are subject to obligatory utilization, so in the vast majority of cases the section protocol is the only documentation and it cannot raise the slightest doubt, which may be the case in the failure to observe the discussed principles of performing a posthumous examination of animals. Considering that every veterinary surgeon may be appointed by various institutions (i.e. courts, police, prosecutor, insurance company) to conduct the necropsy, it is advisable to familiarize this professional group of public trust with the ethical and legal aspects of its implementation.
Keywords: legal norms, moral philosophy, posthumous obduction, post-mortem examination