American Board of Anesthesiologists to Revoke Certification of Anesthesiologists Who Participate in Lethal Injection

A recent ruling by the American Board of Anesthesiologists established that the board will revoke certification of anesthesiologists who participate in capital punishment, according to a Washington Post report.

The mandate from the American Board of Anesthesiologists reflects its leaders' belief that the providers are "healers, not executioners," according to board secretary Mark A. Rockoff. The AMA has long opposed physician involvement in lethal injection, but the anesthesiologist group is the first to say providers will be penalized for assisting in lethal injections.

The loss of ABA certification would prevent an anesthesiologist from working in most hospitals, according to the report.

Approximately half of the 35 states that have legalized the death penalty require a physician to be present at the execution. In some states, anesthesiologists are used for consultation about drug dosage, and in others, they insert catheters and infuse three-drug cocktails.

Read the Washington Post report on anesthesiologists and lethal injection.

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