Intended for healthcare professionals


US anaesthesiologists are told not to take part in executions by lethal injection

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 04 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2432
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    The American Board of Anesthesiology, which certifies anaesthesiologists, has unanimously ruled that anaesthesiologists may not participate in capital punishment by lethal injection if they want to maintain their board certification.

    Major hospitals and medical centres require anaesthesiologists to be certified by the board, so loss of certification would make it difficult for many anaesthesiologists to work. The board has about 42 000 members.

    Mark Rockoff, the board’s secretary and spokesman, told the BMJ that the board issued its ruling in February after judges in some states suggested that they needed help from anaesthesiologists in preventing botched executions.

    There is no way of knowing whether …

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