Does a Medical Doctor Have a Role to Play in a Lethal Injection Execution? What are the Ethical Implications on a Profession Sworn to Protect Life? Discerning Medical Ethics under United States Law

49 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2010

Date Written: March 2, 2010

Abstract

What is a medical doctor's role in a lethal injection execution? Do they take part in executions? Doctors don't take part in an execution, or so we would like to think. "Who said they don't, anyway?" This is wishful thinking on the part of the abolitionists and death penalty activists, so we are told. Doctors are very much present, and they will continue to be, in the execution scene.

The Base v. Rees case that is seen as a small case with big implication discussed here confirms that Doctors will always be a part of the execution scene. This Article also explores the myth that Doctors whose profession is sworn to protect life are never supposed to be part of the execution mechanism. The origin of the myth is explained here.

Keywords: doctors who kill, doctors' ethics, doctor death, medical doctor's role in an execution, doctors don't kill, do doctors take part in executions, what is a doctors part in an execution

Suggested Citation

Cwinya-ai, Robert Ongom, Does a Medical Doctor Have a Role to Play in a Lethal Injection Execution? What are the Ethical Implications on a Profession Sworn to Protect Life? Discerning Medical Ethics under United States Law (March 2, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1566624 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1566624

Robert Ongom Cwinya-ai (Contact Author)

Port of New Orleans Legal Office ( email )

Port of New Orleans Place
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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