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Letters to the Editor
Healers, Not Killers
Psychiatric News
Volume 41 Number 21 page 31-31

I am writing in response to the letter in the September 1 issue by John Bezirganian, M.D., in which he supported physician participation in executions.

Throughout history, governments have employed physicians to use their medical skills in carrying out policies and practices that have since been recognized as immoral. Medical experimentation in Nazi Germany and the U.S. Public Health Service Tuskegee syphilis studies are but two examples. Many of these policies were probably supported, or at least condoned, by a majority of the citizens in these countries at the time.

When we enter the medical profession, we swear an oath to use our knowledge and skills for the benefit of the sick. Due to this, our profession has endured longer than any government, and we enjoy respect and honor that are almost universal. Woe to the physician who uses our arts to carry out the harshest punishment the state can give.

College Park, Md.

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