I was told to approve a lethal injection, but it violates my basic medical ethics

We risk botched executions so long as they are conducted in a scientific vacuum and medical professionals operate devoid of any moral compass

The Guardian

Marc Stern

I peered through the small window of an otherwise solid steel door of the isolation wing of the prison, and saw a small man on his knees in front of his steel framed bed. He had committed many murders and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Perhaps he was praying. Perhaps he was looking for a pencil. But that’s when it struck me: There might be a punishment worse than execution.

Other than a maximum of one hour per day when he could be escorted to a recreational cage outdoors, he would spend the next 10, 20, perhaps 30 years of his life in this very room – eight feet by 10 feet. He would have little contact with other human beings aside from officers and medical professionals. Forging a new friendship or hugging a loved one, if possible at all, would be rare, supervised and not likely spontaneous. His life would be restricted to the same 80 square feet – forever. . . [Full Text]


One thought on “I was told to approve a lethal injection, but it violates my basic medical ethics”

  1. Note that the author was concerned with complicity in execution arising from indirect participation, the same issue that concerns physicians who, for reasons of conscience, refuse to facilitate procedures by referral or other means.

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