It is now official ABA policy. The American Board of Anesthesiology has decided that any board certified anesthesiologist must not assist in carrying out capital punishment. Based on the ancient dictum of do no harm, the ABA states that an anesthesiologist risks losing his board certification if found to be helping the execution of a death row inmate.
I wrote of my feelings about this situation last year. If a person (?) can rape and murder an innocent child with his bare hands, why should he get the expertise of an anesthesiologist in getting an IV started? Is it really cruel and unusual punishment to get poked with a needle multiple times trying to get an intravenous line when he has committed a heinous act? Let him get poked until he resembles an acupuncture model. Why should he expect a nice little subcutaneous lidocaine injection to ease the discomfort of an IV? Many of our normal patients don't need it so why should death row inmates expect it? I say if he's done the crime, he should serve his time, for all of eternity. Just don't expect to get there on a pillow cloud of empathy from the rest of civilized society.
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