Please allow one more letter on the topic of physicians' involvement in
executions, and count me on the side of Dr. John Bezirganian, whose letter to
the editor was published in the September 1, 2006, issue. Neither of the
letter writers who opposed such such involvement in later issues lent
convincing arguments, in my opinion (see "Healers, Not Killers" by
Robert Herman, M.D., in the November 1, 2006, issue, and "Medical
Ethics" by Richard A. Lloyd, M.D., November 17, 2006, issue).
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's 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.
The United States is not Nazi Germany, and any such comparison is a great
insult to our nation, which sacrificed thousands of men to shut the Nazis
down. America is a great nation, which allows a huge degree of personal
freedom. When citizens use that freedom to commit capital crimes, then the
American people rightfully desire to exact capital punishment.
I regard it as a huge hypocrisy for physicians to participate in abortion
and assisted suicide and then turn around with a "holier than
thou" attitude and oppose physician involvement in capital