Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Lethal injections | medical ethics | Harvard Law School

Harvard Law Professor: Medicalization of Death Is Problematic

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 02:58 PM

In light of recent botched lethal injections, medical ethics expert and Harvard Law Professor I. Glenn Cohen tells Newsmax TV that when the state ends a person's life doctors should not be involved because it is "not a medical procedure."

"Whether it's faulty equipment or faulty medical training, either way, the medicalization of death we think is problematic," Cohen told John Bachman and Francesca Page on "America's Forum" Wednesday.

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"The idea here is that we think that execution is the state ending someone's life, and we don't want to make that look like a medical procedure when it's not a medical procedure," he explained.

"The American Medical Association as well as many other medical associations have taken a firm position that lethal injection and participating in execution in general is incompatible with being a doctor because it's primum non nocere, 'first do no harm,'" he said.

"I want to emphasize this is not necessarily an anti-death penalty position," the Harvard Law professor said.

"There are many ways of pursuing the death penalty that don't involve physicians," he contends.

"But when physicians get involved, it means going against the ethical duties of a doctor, which is to a patient," Cohen explained.

"It makes it look as though you're merely putting someone to sleep or helping them engage in anesthetics, when in fact what you are doing is essentially acting out a killing on behalf of the state," he said.

The medical ethics expert said that "there would be a serious problem with doctors performing abortion[s]" if medical associations such as the AMA "came out against abortion."

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In light of recent botched lethal injections, medical ethics expert and Harvard Law Professor I. Glenn Cohen tells Newsmax TV that when the state ends a person's life doctors should not be involved because it is not a medical procedure.
Lethal injections, medical ethics, Harvard Law School
294
2014-58-17
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 02:58 PM
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