Should Physician’s Participate In Executions? Essay

1236 WordsMar 4, 20125 Pages
The death penalty is a form of execution where it currently uses lethal injection to put someone to death. This technique is used because it is viewed as a more humane method of execution than hanging, the electric chair, or the firing squad. Putting someone to death is an issue for several people. Many people support the death penalty, while others are strictly opposed to it. However, in this case the majority rules and people are put down like mad dogs for the wrong doings they have caused others. Though it may violate their personal and professional beliefs doctors must participate due to legal rulings. Do the people that participate in this execution stand by or oppose this issue? In Gawande’s Book, “Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance” the doctors who participated, felt both ways about the issue, but still felt an obligation to be present. This brings up the strong need by the physicians should uphold under their ethics code. Under the American Medical Association (AMA) physicians and nurses are prohibited to take part in any form of involvement in an execution. This means they cannot physically or even verbally assist. However, 35 state courts have required that a physician must be present in executions. If doctors or nurses are not present it brings up the argument that the executions cannot be performed without breaking the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment. If physicians are present they face many obstacles, not the least of which is violating their oath, which specifically state that they are to do no harm. The biggest obstacle a physician or nurse can face is losing their medical license. This would prohibit them from ever practicing medicine again, and therefore doing more harm than good as their patients could suffer from lack of care. However, every medical personal that has ever been called before the AMA, for

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