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Is It Moral to Euthanize Animals ?. Hsuan-Ju Wang Graduate Institute of Philosophy National Central University, Chungli, ROC . 1.Introduction 1) the reasons why Taiwan has so many stray dogs. People do not realize that dogs need a lot of care especially when they grown up.

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Is it moral to euthanize animals l.jpg

Is It Moral to Euthanize Animals ?

Hsuan-Ju Wang

Graduate Institute of Philosophy

National Central University, Chungli, ROC


1 introduction 1 the reasons why taiwan has so many stray dogs l.jpg
1.Introduction1)the reasons why Taiwan has so many stray dogs

  • People do not realize that dogs need a lot of care especially when they grown up.

  • Owners neglect their responsibility to take care of their pets and that they should treat their dogs like family members.

  • Owners just dump their dogs when they are through with them.

  • Taiwan government has no proper control of breeders .


2 government policy on the solution of stray dogs l.jpg
2)Government Policy on the solution of stray dogs

  • The Taiwan government has no other policy than giving euthanasia to stray dogs.

  • There are shortage of public animal shelter and fall far behind the demand of animal welfare.


3 the main purpose of this paper l.jpg
3)the main purpose of this paper

  • First, what kind of suffering of stray dogs in Taiwan .

  • Second, how university students of animal welfare groups offer help to protect and promote humanistic treatment of these dogs.

  • Third, what decision students made when these dog are crippled and how to handle the dilemmas of euthanasia and helping of stray dogs .

  • Finally, I will describe one case and showing how to solve this dilemma by the principles of Confucianism bioethics.


2 the suffering of stray dogs in taiwan l.jpg

2.The suffering of stray dogs in Taiwan


A hungry and disease l.jpg
(A) hungry and disease

  • Stray dogs could hardly find enough food in cities and often with all sorts of infectious diseases .


B harm and torture l.jpg
(B) harm and torture

  • Some are badly and cruelly treated by their owners, sometimes with whipping, hacking of limbs, etc.


C suffering in inhuman breeding factories in taiwan l.jpg
(C) Suffering in inhuman breeding factories in Taiwan

  • Taiwan government does not regulate the dog breeders, they breed the dogs at market demands.


D suffering during catching and death in public animal shelter l.jpg
(D) Suffering during catching and death in public animal shelter

  • Taiwan government servants often badly hurt the stray dogs when catching them .


3 the effort and dilemmas of university student of animal welfare groups in taiwan l.jpg

3.The effort and dilemmas of university student of animal welfare groups in Taiwan


A their efforts l.jpg
(A) Their efforts

  • In general, university students take care of stray dogs dumped on campus.


B difficulties l.jpg
(B) Difficulties

  • For some dogs, the only possible outlet is euthanasia and it is a dilemma for university students.


4 moral dilemmas of taiwan s student volunteers l.jpg

4.moral dilemmas of Taiwan’s student volunteers:

euthanasia of stray dogs


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1 principles of confucianism bioethics l.jpg
(1) of Taiwan doesn't accord with animal welfarePrinciples of Confucianism bioethics

  • For Confucianism, the central concept is benevolence (ren) and our moral rights and obligations are determined according to this concept.

  • Mencius points out that everyone has certain moral consciousness, which he called the unbearable mind towards the suffering of others.


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  • Professor Lee Shui Chuen pointed out that our of Taiwan doesn't accord with animal welfareunbearable mind is a kind of moral feeling, and it is what makes human being a moral agent .

  • The unbearable mind is the categorical command of our morality. It extends into ren, yi,li and chi, which have similar structure and comparable with the four principles of respect of autonomy, non-maleficence, benevolence and justice.


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  • According to Prof. Lee of Taiwan doesn't accord with animal welfare’s re-construction, Confucian bioethics could derive the four principles and moral rules such as the principle of informed consent, paternalism, privacy, etc.


2 the analysis of case l.jpg

(2) of Taiwan doesn't accord with animal welfareThe analysis of case


Case1 pipi s story l.jpg

Case1: pipi of Taiwan doesn't accord with animal welfare’s story


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  • it of Taiwan doesn't accord with animal welfare’s pelvis was cracked seriously by traffic accident and caused the difficulty of defecating.

  • Through the assessment of the veterinarian, if we do surgical operation to PiPi ,it may hurt the neural system of PiPi. But if we don’t,PiPi bears the pains of the difficulty of defecating.

  • so, what can we do for PIPi ?


Case2 vivian s story l.jpg

Case2: vivian of Taiwan doesn't accord with animal welfare’s story


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  • It was infected by distemper virus. Although it later recovered to healthy condition, Vivian became paralyzed and had pressure sore.

  • What the worst problem is Vivian could not bear the pressure of it’s body.

  • What is the best decision we should make? to live? or die?


3 the application and judgment of moral dilemmas of the principles of confucianism bioethics l.jpg

(3) recovered to healthy condition, Vivian became paralyzed and had pressure sore.the application and judgment of moral dilemmas of the principles of Confucianism bioethics


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First the relationship between student volunteers and stray dogs l.jpg
First, the relationship between student volunteers and stray dogs

  • What causes the dilemma for the student volunteers is their unbearable mind or hearts upon the sufferings of the dogs.

  • Student volunteers also take two principles as the guide for their actions.

  • One is the principle of beneficencewhich means that we need to take care of stray dogs and lessen their pains.


Slide26 l.jpg

  • The other is the principle of non-maleficence that no unnecessary injury to these heavily crippled animals.

  • Euthanasia could may result in too arbitrary a decision for euthanasia to stray dogs in general.

  • Finally, that we should decide for the best interest of stray dogs because dogs could not speak.


Then for confucianism what judgment we should do l.jpg
then, for Confucianism what judgment unnecessary injury to these heavily crippled animals.we should do?

  • the principle of ching-chuanof Confucianism

  • Confucianist usually appliesthe principle of ching-chuanto solve moral dilemmas.

  • the point of the principle of ching-chuanis to protect the person’s best interest involved. The foundation of the principle is the unbearable mind of sufferings of others.


What are steps of the principle of ching chuan l.jpg
What are steps of the unnecessary injury to these heavily crippled animals.principle of ching-chuan?

  • Professor Lee Shui Chuen pointed out there are three steps in solving a moral dilemma:

  • 1) Try to understand what conflictions are involved .

  • 2) Display considerations and analysis in details concretely in every possible solution.

  • 3) Return to the moral demands of our unbearable mind for the critical evaluation for what to do.

  • Sometimes, consider the advice of to the moral and life experience of the wise may offer helps for solutions of difficult dilemmas.


Next the two cases as analyzed by means of principle of ching chuan l.jpg
Next , the two cases as analyzed by means of unnecessary injury to these heavily crippled animals.principle of ching-chuan

  • The two principles in contradiction are the principle of non-maleficence and the principle of beneficence.

  • The former shows that people taking the life of stray dogs, that is killing, is morally wrong.

  • The principle of beneficence implies that moral agents must promote the happiness of dogs, and offer them active therapy to recovery.

  • So what should we decide ?


Slide30 l.jpg

  • In fact, if we insist to offer active medical treatments to these dogs, they will suffer a lot of pain physically and psychologically.

  • Therefore, sometimes it does not accord with animal welfare when we try to maintain the life of these dogs, even if the principle of beneficence requests us not to do that.


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  • Eventually, we arrive somehow that these dogs, they will suffer a lot of pain physically and psychologically.「the minimumharm」to these dogsis the command of the principle of ching-chuan, that is we have to let them passed painless in cases of great pain.


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5 conclusion l.jpg
5.conclusion students insist not to give up any dog at least instantly

  • These students always face the challenge of euthanasia to stray dogs, the principles of Confucianism bioethics provide a guide for them to face such dilemmas.

  • For student volunteers ,they never give up any stray dog that they can save and they believe that someday there willbe no stray dogs anymore in Taiwan.


Thanks for your listening l.jpg

Thanks for your listening. students insist not to give up any dog at least instantly


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