Physicians Willingness to Participate in the Process of lethal Injection for Capital Punishment

By Joan Weiner / Brian M. Aboff / Neil J. / Farber / Annals of Internal Medecine 135(10), 884-888 / Elizabeth B. Davis / E. Gil Boyer / Peter A. Ubel, on 1 January 2001

Occasionally, physicians’ personal values conflict with their perceived societal duties. One example is the case of lethal injection for the purpose of capital punishment. Some states require that such lethal injections be performed by physicians. At the same time, leading medical societies have concluded that physicians should avoid participating in capital punishment. Physicians’ attitudes toward involvement in capital punishment may depend on how they balance their responsibilities to individuals against their duties to society. Other factors may include a desire to provide a more painless death for the prisoner or concern over the competency of other health care personnel. In a previous survey, we found that a majority of physicians condoned involvement of their fellow physicians in capital punishment. For the current study, we conducted another survey to ascertain physicians’ attitudes about their own involvement in capital punishment, as well as factors associated with these attitudes.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Lethal Injection,