capital punishment, ethics, palliative care


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Criminology and Criminal Justice


A plea for direct physician participation in executions was presented by Sandeep Jauhar in a New York Times Op-Ed (“Why It’s OK for Doctors to Participate in Executions”—April 21, 2017). Jauhar’s article is not a discussion of the ethics of capital punishment. He describes his own opposition “as a matter of principle, as a doctor.” However, since capital punishment is legal in 31 states, with required physician participation in several, he acquiesces to a utilitarian stance rather than the principled approach he acknowledges is expected of a physician in this circumstance.

Original Citation

Johnson RF. Why it’s not OK for doctors to participate in executions. Ann Palliat Med 2017;6(Suppl 1):S102-S103. doi: 10.21037/apm.2017.05.06