Monday, March 13, 2006

'N.C. law at odds with medical ethics rules'

Is the headline from The News & Observer

Doctors take an oath to save lives. North Carolina's prison doctors help end them by participating in executions.

Prison officials say doctors attend executions and monitor the vital signs of the condemned while other employees inject a series of lethal drugs. Such participation violates medical ethics guidelines, but no execution doctor has ever gotten in trouble in North Carolina. A state law shields the doctors' identities.

On Friday, North Carolina plans to execute its 41st inmate since a state law in 1977 restored the death penalty. That inmate is Patrick L. Moody of Davidson County.

The ethical codes set out by the American Medical Association and the N.C. Medical Society prohibit doctors from "attending or observing an execution as a physician" and "monitoring vital signs on site or remotely [including monitoring electrocardiograms.]" The state and national medical ethics rules allow doctors only to certify an inmate's death or prescribe drugs to alleviate acute pain or anxiety suffered by the condemned before execution.

As you know from reading this blog I'm a supporter of the death penality. The only things I see wrong with the system is that it's not used enough and that all to often it takes too long for the sentence to be carried out. So what if someone convicted of a heinous crime feels a little pain before he checks out, he didn't worry about the pain he inflicted on his victim.

posted by David at 11:52 PM :: Permalink ::