Illinois State Medical Society a leader in barring physician participation in executions

LETTER — Posted Dec. 13, 2004

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I read with interest your article, "In the execution chamber" (Article, Oct. 25). Illinois is a model state in the fight to remove physicians from the execution process.

Since the first widely publicized physician-assisted execution took place in Illinois in September 1990, the Illinois State Medical Society has led the way in protesting this unethical involvement by health care professionals. Our efforts were codified by the 2003 passage of a state law formally excluding health professionals from the Illinois execution statute and disallowing the shielding of unprofessional conduct from peer review. This Illinois law could serve as the model for legislation to get and keep physicians out of the execution chamber.

We hope that AMNews will continue to follow this important professional issue and keep physicians abreast on recent actions on this front.

Kenneth J. Printen, MD, president, Illinois State Medical Society

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/12/13/edlt1213.htm.

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