Do No Harm

by TChris

UPDATE: This article suggests that prison personnel who have been administering lethal injections are dispensing controlled substances without being licensed to do so. The Justice Department complained about licensed physicians in Oregon dispensing drugs (pursuant to state law) to help terminally ill patients who want to end their lives. Why isn't Justice even more outraged about prison employees administering controlled substances who aren't licensed to dispense drugs?
original post:

The court order requiring a medical professional to help in the execution of Michael Morales sparked a debate, noted here, about the appropriate role of physicians in bringing about the death of a person who doesn't want to die. The California Medical Association doesn't want doctors to be put in that position. It will ask the state legislature to prohibit the Department of Corrections from asking doctors to participate in executions.

"We're unshakable in our belief that physician involvement in capital punishment is unethical," [Association president Michael] Sexton said. "For physicians to be engaged in such activity threatens the public's trust in physicians."

We won't know for some time whether higher courts will agree with the judge in Morales' case that a physician is needed to ensure that a lethal injection doesn't produce unnecessary pain. If that ruling is ultimately upheld, and if physicians refuse to participate, or succeed in having legislation passed that shields them from participation, California may have to find another execution method. Better yet, the state might want to rethink the wisdom of killing people, and potentially burying the results of mistaken convictions.

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    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#1)
    by Johnny on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 07:09:00 AM EST
    I tell ya, public decapitation carried out by a person picked out at random from a pool of known death penalty supporters. No need to involve doctors here. Or medical professionals of any type. Just sharpen up the old axe and start swinging.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#2)
    by Al on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 07:46:28 AM EST
    Unfortunately, Johnny, there would be some takers. The pretense that you can kill someone cleanly and humanely is crumbling. The only way forward is to stop the killing altogether.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 10:24:05 AM EST
    If it is up to me, I will make a law that drop a convicted violent sex offender, as long as there is a DNA match to make sure, in a vat of acid and let him rot in there.
    Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution:
    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
    Excerpt from the Supreme Court opinion in Wilkerson v. Utah, 99 U.S. 130, 135 (1878).
    ''Difficulty would attend the effort to define with exactness the extent of the constitutional provision which provides that cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted; but it is safe to affirm that punishments of torture [such as drawing and quartering, embowelling alive, beheading, public dissecting, and burning alive], and all others in the same line of unnecessary cruelty, are forbidden by that amendment to the Constitution.''
    Narius, based on your past posts, you have never had anything remotely substantial to add due to your ignorance of the US justice system. I suggest you study the US Constitution and relevant caselaw that defines the amendments. Maybe then you will actually have something intelligent to add. Findlaw is a great resource for this type of research.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#5)
    by Johnny on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 10:52:20 AM EST
    Narius, would you be willing to "pull the trigger" so to speak? I have the feeling you would...

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#7)
    by Johnny on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 01:40:36 PM EST
    Sure, if they paid for my time
    ...in the name of justice.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 01:50:50 PM EST
    I agree with Narius completely. The punishment should fit the crime. Frankly he should be raped and murdered the same way he did the victim. Could I do it? Damn right. But then again, having survived a brutal rape myself, perhaps I'm not the best to have make a comment. Or then again, perhaps I am.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#9)
    by erichwwk on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 02:58:53 PM EST
    I've heard it said by some that 9-11 caused a shift in thinking. I suggest that what would be of more value is to contemplate the change in thinking evoked by the teachings of Christ. Before Christ, we had a multiplicity of laws and commandments. After Christ, we simplified, and it was suggested that only one law was of importance- acting out of love rather than hate, acting out of forgiveness rather than punishment. Jesus suggested laying to rest the old concept of punishment - "an eye for an eye." Ghandi carried that thought further in saying the old way of "an eye for an eye" results in all of us being blind. I fear that Ghandi's prediction is coming true. Just as Adolf Hitler proclaimed himself a Christian and utilized that religion as his base to power, so has the current administration blasphemed Christ's teachings and turned his message into the vilest form possible - that of a killing machine. Christ could have no stronger message than "THOU SHALLT NOT KILL", proclaiming killing EVEN to save your own life is counterproductive. "Don't fear he who can kill the body, fear him who can kill the soul" Math 10:28; "he that saves his life shall lose it" Math 10:39 "turn the other cheek" "love your enemy, do good to them that hate you" Math 10:44 Those advocating punishment over retribution are entitled to their views. But they are certainly not those advocated by Christ, and those holding those views (including the current president of the United States) are clearly of a different view than that of Jesus Christ. In fact, if the stories that Christ preferred crucifixion are true (ie he was not afraid of death and preferred death to saving his own life at the expense of hate and harm to another), one might say that those holding views similar to President Bush hold views pretty much at the opposite spectrum of Christ, and like Adolf Hitler, are NOT Christians. And it seems neither are a good number of folks on this list. I just pray that the spell that Hitler had cast over truth and reason at the time and place of my birth will not be replicated in my adopted country.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#10)
    by Johnny on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 02:59:49 PM EST
    Frankly, I find it amazing that some people feel they are capable of raping and murdering someone, indeed, even relish the thought. Good for you, hows the air breathe in the 14th century?

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 03:06:02 PM EST
    Johnny, I assume you're speaking of Morales, right?

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#13)
    by Sailor on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 03:41:08 PM EST
    This is an Internet discussion board and you expect every post to have substantial wisdom?
    This not just any Internet discussion board, this is TalkLeft. We tend to have higher standards for discourse here. One problem with your arguments is that they violate the constitution. A second, and greater problem is, you have no idea that we came to the principles of the US Constitution because we had been repressed in exactly the way you propose. The third, and greatest, problem is because when a society makes such brutal decisions, it lowers the society to that level. Sorry folks, I was distracted there for a moment; The thread is about the Hypocratic oath. Doctors, (aside from Mengele), swear an oath to do no harm. Any Dr who helps torture, kill or maim ANYONE, should have their license revoked. And I know just where we can start.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#14)
    by roy on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 03:56:12 PM EST
    If pain & suffering are the only obstacles to constitutional executions, they aren't going away. It's got to be physically possible to kill somebody without significant pain. Maybe completely painlessly if we're quick and not squeamish. It takes a moment for pain to register conciously; if we destroy the nervous system within that amount of time, no pain will be felt. This could be done by dropping a very heavy, flat-surfaced object from a great height. Think fifty tons falling at terminal velocity. Between the time of initial impact and the time by which pain could register, there won't be anything left to feel pain. And get the condemned high on their drug of choice first -- booze, valium, crack, whatever. This is the most humane way to kill somebody I can think of. Not even a needle-prick of pain, and no sense of slipping away as with anethesia. We'd never institute it because it's messy.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#15)
    by Johnny on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:19:32 PM EST
    Johnny, I assume you're speaking of Morales, right?
    Among others...

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#16)
    by Al on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 05:46:15 PM EST
    We'd never institute it because it's messy.
    No, roy, we'd never institute it because it's insane.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#17)
    by roy on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:00:22 PM EST
    Al, More, or less, insane than strapping somebody into a sealed chamber and pumping in poison? Is there really a "sane" way to kill somebody to protect the rest of us, even though he's already locked up and controllable enough to be killed at our leisure? Execution is inherently nutty -- I'm just pointing out that the pain part isn't an unsolveable problem.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 06:36:13 PM EST
    If I have anything substantial to add, I will go write a book.
    Got it. Thanks for pointing out why we don't need to bother reading any more of your mean-spirited posts here.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#19)
    by phat on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 11:22:19 PM EST
    Lots of people in the United States seem to have an inability to understand that the bill of rights itself forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Now it may be all well and good in your mind to think that torturing someone to death is not a problem. But please don't let your relativist definition of cruelty influence how we go about things under the Constitution. If you want to allow cruel punishment in this country, pass an amendment. Torture is not allowed, in any circumstance, under our Constitution. It doesn't matter one whit who is being tortured. If you can't understand that, than you have a drastic inability to understand the basics of the philosophies on which this nation was founded. phat

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#20)
    by Al on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 11:31:28 PM EST
    No, roy, there's no sane way to kill someone. Moreover, the "pain part", as you put it, is inherently unsolveable if one is further constrained by not being naturally inclined to spend the day dreaming of ways to kill people. The only way to prevent the pain is not to cause it. What's so hard to understand? Just because someone is a killer doesn't mean we all have to become killers. Sure, the relatives of the victims (sometimes) want bloody vengeance. That's why we have a justice system.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#22)
    by Johnny on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:26:28 AM EST
    If people are so sensitive to criminals, just overdose them with cocaine, they will die with a high.
    Surprisingly enough, I would have no problem with that, except it is illegal.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#24)
    by HK on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    narius, if you had read any background on the Morales case, you would know that part of the reason such a brutal crime was committed in the first place was because the guy had been taking a combination of illegal drugs. True to your previous posts, in the one above your simple-minded false logic shines like a beacon. Don't you have something more on your level you could do instead of cluttering up what was an interesting discussion with spurious arguments? I believe cross stitch is very undemanding mentally...

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#26)
    by Johnny on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 02:25:03 PM EST
    I think no excuse should be allowed for violent crime. Just put him down like a dog
    Typical conservative, needs to find justification for his own bloodthirsty tendencies. With people like you on the outside, it is no wonder people go back in.

    Re: Do No Harm (none / 0) (#27)
    by HK on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 12:57:32 AM EST
    if some other people wants to shoot themselves up with cocaine, I don't see a problem with that as long as it does not affect my family
    narius, what I said was not an excuse for this particular inmate, but merely pointing out that your above plan is illogical because drug use does have an effect on non-drug users, as the Morales case has tragically shown