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Physicians Clash over Medical Ethics in Death Penalty Cases Essay

The news clipping is mainly about the dilemma doctors face. They are trained to save people. They did not choose their profession to punish law-violating citizens. Specifically, this topic has been given hype by Dr. Marc Stern who quit on his job of being the head doctor in the state of Washington’s prison whose responsibilities included maintaining the lethal injection table in order for the next death sentence. In the past several years, according to the article, medical ethics and death penalty has clashed.

There are a number of instances in the past where doctors bailed out of the execution causing delay in the death penalty; case in point: Michael Morales. The article also stated that the problem does not stop here. This ethical dilemma against professional participation needs careful and further study. Capital punishment and justice would be difficult to serve if all doctors are concerned about ethics. Experts went as far as predicting capital punishment could end because of this ethical issues. Ethical dilemma The whole article is about ethical dilemma.

Doctors do not want to continue participating in capital punishment (overseeing death penalties) as this poses ethical issues for them. Most of them belive the punishment is cruel and unusual. Also, doctors are trained to save lives and not to end it. Personal thoughts on the matter I understand that being an object to end another person’s life when one is trained to help save it could have severe impact on one’s conscience. The human world has become civilized enough over the course of history to preserve one another.

It is even more emphasized in a doctor’s profession where preservation of mankind has been his chosen field and career. However, if all doctors feel this way, I can see the nation revolting. Without a trained professional in the death sentence chamber, there is no way an execution will happen. I can foresee various forms of protests because somehow, justice must be served according to the laws of the state. The person in death sentence was found guilty of an offense that demerits him his life. The family and friends of his victim/s have turned into the law for support to the injustice done to them.

The law cannot fail these people because doctors cannot do their state-given responsibilities. There must be some doctors out there that are willing to do the job. I am not saying that the state must find conscienceless professional so that the death penalty can still be observed. There must be some doctors in the field that understand their moral obligations and their obligations to the state. Like it or not, the prosecution must be finished. They cannot let the convicted criminal die in the hands of non-professionals nor can they let the families and friends of the victims live in injustice.


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