Wilhelminenspital, L.B.I. of Nuclearmed., Montleartstr. 37, A-1171 Vienna, Austria,,
In the recent publication of Groner JI (1) we read the history of lethal injection and stories of doctors in the past as in the national euthanasia programme of Adolf Hitler. The question which arises is how the medical community has to react in such crucial dilemma and to try to resolve it in the long term. Condemnation of participation of doctors at executions as has been done by several medical organisations, for example by American Medical Association, has been inefficient in preventing the increase of "medical executions". More effective steps are required in order to prohibit the involvement of medical science in human rights violations.
One option for a denoucement could be that members are excluded by the World Medical Association and the National Medical Associations if they do not respect the minimum standards of medical ethical codes as participation in death penalties and/or torture practices.
1. Groner JI Lethal injection: a stain on the face of medicine. BMJ 325: 1026-28.