Doctors and the death penalty

Should doctors participate in executions? It’s a basic question of medical ethics. For one doctors' group, the American Board of Anesthesiologists, the answer is no, according to an article in Sunday’s Washington Post.

The Post reported that the group has quietly moved to decertify doctors who participate in executions by lethal injections.

Here’s what the Post’s Rob Stein reported Sunday:

The mandate from the American Board of Anesthesiologists reflects its leaders' belief that “we are healers, not executioners,” board secretary Mark A. Rockoff said. Although the American Medical Association has long opposed doctor involvement, the anesthesiologists' group is the first to say it will harshly penalize a health-care worker for abetting lethal injections. The loss of certification would prevent an anesthesiologist from working in most hospitals.

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