Letters to the Editor
More on Death Penalty
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 5 page 32-32

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 punishment.

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