We cloak professional healers in an aura of sanctity, as though they were guardian angels and miracle workers. But they are fallible human beings with their own set of motivations, in addition to wanting to help patients.
The most disturbing example must be the veterinarians, who turn out to be biased against an entire class of their patients — the cats.
Here are the results of a survey of vets and vet technicians. The majority express no preference for either, but that's just giving them the easy fence-sitting answer. Psychological studies show that people who own both dogs and cats are more like dog people than cat people. Push them in a real-life setting, and they'd more likely come down in favor of dog patients. Of those who do express a preference, the vets are 2 to 1 in favor of their dog patients, and the vet techs are even more biased at 3 to 1.
Here are even more extensive statistics, painting the same basic picture of preferences, but also revealing how these manifest themselves in the hospitals and clinics themselves.
The two main reasons seem to be that dogs give cues that are easier for humans to read, and they aren't as fiesty. Dogs are more closely adapted to interacting with people, but I still wonder how much the greater difficulty of "reading" cats is due to the vet not being a cat lover in the first place. To each their own in their private life, but this is like a pediatrician who doesn't care for kids.
Aside from the bias against cats in itself, dog people also tend to be more liberal, in the sense of having less respect for purity and sanctity (click on the "pets" tag below to review earlier posts on this topic). I expect they're more likely to callously favor euthanasia, whereas cat people would set a higher threshold for putting a pet down.
And given the greater influence that the vet has in this decision — not being as easily persuadable as a panic-stricken pet owner — this likely results in more pets (canine and feline) having their lives taken than there should be.
Part of the belief in "healers as angels" is that we shouldn't research and choose which hospital and which doctor we should bring our loved one to. Aren't all angels equally angelic? In the case of taking care of cats, though, you ought to check into these things beforehand, to at least make sure you'll be seeing a cat person with the proper respect for life, and not a dog-loving mercy killer.