Hyderabad: The participation of doctors in the process of execution of convicted death row prisoners is unethical, according to the amended Hippocratic Oath released earlier this month by the World Medical Association (WMA).
“In the case of capital punishment, they are required to monitor vital signs during the process of execution and look for signs of life and then pronounce death. This is against medical ethics,” Dr Aggarwal said.
The WMA had had opposed the participation of doctors in 1981, and amended the resolution in 2008. In October 2017, it passed orders stating that the issue has been debated and resolved.
The WMA stated that no association member must advise their physicians to participate in capital punishment. The WMA also urged the associations to lobby actively with national governments and legislators to exclude their participation in executions.
Dr R.V. Ashok, who is on the IMA action committee, explained, “The role of a physician is that of a healer to promote health, well-being and welfare. In the case of capital punishment, it comes across as someone who is participating in death.”