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Physicians Ethics and Lethal Injection - Research Paper Example

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The concept of participating in lethal injections consciously and directly conflicts with what might be called the "traditional" view of the physician's role. The traditional view, as articulated, for example, by the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association in 1973 declared: "The intentional termination of the life of one human being by lethal injection killing-is contrary to that for which the medical profession stands and is contrary to the policy of the American Medical Association" (Ramsey 1999, p…
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Physicians Ethics and Lethal Injection
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Download file to see previous pages Basically this view involves the concept that that it is impermissible for the doctor or anyone else to terminate intentionally the life of an individual. The traditional view is that the intentional termination of human life is impermissible, irrespective of whether this goal is brought about by action or inaction. Is the action or refraining aimed at producing a death Is the termination of life sought, chosen or planned Is the intention deadly In order to better understand this concept, the notion of physicians participating in lethal injections will be discussed, and the point that the participation in lethal injections is an unethical concept of physicians will be revealed. The main objection against this argument is that of the patients' comfort, but many argue that we should not be as concerned with the comfort of murderers. Whether this is an important issue or not, the primary reason physicians should not participate in this action has to do with their own oaths as doctors; their purpose is to save lives, not to destroy them.
First, it is important to present the statistics behind lethal injections when realizing their prevalence in certai...
The execution involves three separate injections, that once administered lead to a painless, trouble free execution and it takes approx. 8 minutes for the criminal to die. It is the most reliable form of capital punishment in the United States today and is used by 37 states. However, it is the actual process that is the longest of all methods of execution. The protocol, from start to finish, takes between 30 and 45 minutes. This is a punishment in itself, as the condemned awaits his inevitable execution. Banner points out how the long procedure causes mental torture because of the anticipation of what is to come. Many other countries use the lethal injection as their most common form of capital punishment. Guatemala, for example put two suspected kidnappers to death in 2002, simultaneously and actually televised the execution (Rachels, 1995).
Understating the concoction that is injected into the accused is also important to understanding this debate. The drugs used to execute inmates in the US sometimes do not always work according to plan, causing slow and painful deaths that in turn are in breech of constitutional bans on cruel punishment. (Ramsey, 1999) Even when used in the right way, the lethal injection method of execution appears to have caused some prisoners to suffocate while they were conscious and unable to move. For example, in 1986, drug addict Randy Woolls had to help execution technicians find a suitable vein for the injections; and in Raymond Landry's case in 1988, the catheter used to inject the chemicals flew out of his arm and sprayed chemicals all over the execution chamber, right in front of several state witnesses. On this occasion, a curtain was drawn preventing the spectators from seeing what was going on, and they were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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