The Champion

June 2010 , Page 38 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Should Medical Professionals Participate in Executions?

By David B. Waisel MD

A physician’s role in an execution may more correctly be interpreted as acting as an agent of the inmate to achieve his goals of a painless death. The physician will prioritize the inmate’s comfort throughout the process.
David B. Waisel MD 

Botched lethal injections needlessly hurt the condemned. Because the immediately recognizable benefits of permitting physicians to participate in lethal injection far outweigh the vaguely theoretical risks, organized medicine has an obligation to permit physician participation in legal execution to the extent necessary to ensure a good death.

The Need for Physician Participation 

Assuming that capital punishment proceeds regardless of physician participation, the arguments favoring participation to minimize suffering are straightforward.

  • The state-sanctioned punishment is death, not suffering.
  • Human error causes botched executions. The condemned suffer.1 
  • Problems associated with botched executions — including difficulty obtaining, maintaining and evalua
Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad