WWW Opinion Times

Friday, November 19, 2004

Should Kentucky Governor Loose Medical License Because of Execution Duty?

A New York psychiatrist who opposes the death penalty is leading an effort to have the medical license of Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher because his role in signing the death warrant for those guilty of the death penalty in his state.

Chicago Tribune: "LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- When Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed a death warrant for a convicted killer this month, he may have done more than start the clock ticking on an execution. Some say Fletcher, a doctor, may have put his medical license at risk.

American Medical Association guidelines bar doctors from taking part, directly or indirectly, in executions, and Kentucky requires doctors to follow AMA ethical guidelines.

'I think it's a clear violation,' said Dr. Arthur Zitrin, a retired psychiatrist in New York and a death penalty opponent. Zitrin also is challenging the license of a Georgia doctor accused of helping nurses find a vein in a condemned man for a lethal injection."

The Texas Insider, commenting on the actions of Zitrin, asks the following question:
[We] now anxiously await Doctor Zitrin and his fellow travelers' next turning their attention to having the licenses of abortion doctors everywhere revoked, on similar grounds and for their more directly executing the termination of an existence, these transpiring without the benefit of a trial by jury.

Excellent point!