February 23, 2007
More on executions methods and the role of doctors
Jeff Mead and Larysa Simms are taking over Wednesday's class to discuss "The Role of Physicians." Here is the text and readings they sent for everyone's pre-class consideration:
Before you enrolled in this death penalty class, your mind likely jumped to a single inference when you heard mention of an interface between the legal and medical professions: malpractice suits. However, after class on Wednesday, February 28, you should also gain insight into another important interface between the two professions: the death penalty (executions). In fact, the topic is enjoying the spotlight as the focal point of several current events. In preparation for our discussion on Wednesday, please read the brief articles linked below that will orient you to the issues underlying these current events associated with the medical profession's role in the death penalty. These articles will give you a taste of what we will explore further through class discussion, including the moral, philosophical, medical, political, legal and practical implications of the role of physicians in the death penalty.
Please also answer the following questions in the Comment Section of the blog before class on Wednesday:
- Why do you think this issue regarding the role of physicians in the death penalty has erupted at this particular time as opposed to any other time?
- Why has the American Medical Association (AMA) seen fit to act as the moral compass for its members? What are the implications of this AMA decree?
- What political machinations do you think are at play?
- Given our recently expanded understanding of the assorted methods of execution, what role, if any, do you think physicians should play in the death penalty?
- AMA opposes physician involvement in executions (Feb. 17, 2006)
- Council of State Approves Death Penalty Protocol (Feb. 6, 2007)
- Doctors' refusal might ring knell for death penalty (Aug. 7, 2006)
- CMA Reaffirms Stance Opposing Physician-Assisted Suicide (Feb. 15, 2007)