Skip to comments.Execution delayed as doctors walk out
Posted on 02/21/2006 5:27:44 AM PST by Brilliant
SAN QUENTIN, California (Reuters) - The execution of a California man who raped and murdered an 17-year-old girl was delayed for at least 15 hours early on Tuesday because two court-appointed anesthesiologists walked off the job over ethical concerns.
The doctors backed out when the language in an early-morning U.S. District Court ruling did not sufficiently allay their ethical concerns, San Quentin State prison spokesman Lt. Vernell Crittendon said.
They were on hand after a court said the state must ensure the condemned man, Michael Morales, was in fact unconscious before a lethal injection was administered, thereby minimizing the pain he might suffer.
A federal judge had ordered prison officials to have one present in a ruling that was roundly condemned by medical groups on ethical grounds.
The execution was reschedule for 7:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, Crittendon said.
"The district court order that followed the publication of the Ninth Circuit opinion does not sufficiently allay our concerns. While we contemplated a positive role that might enable us to verify a humane execution protocol for Mr. Morales, what is being asked of us now is ethically unacceptable," said a statement from the doctors read by Crittendon.
It was not immediately clear what the language of the ruling was that upset the doctors.
Defense attorneys had claimed last week that the use of the lethal injection was cruel and unusual punishment, barred by the Constitution. This prompted a judge to order prison officials to either alter the composition of the lethal chemicals used or make medical experts available to ensure unnecessary pain was not inflicted during the execution.
But after the doctors walked out, the state decided it will pursue the other option and change the mix of chemicals used in the injection.
Morales, 46, was sentenced to death in 1983 for the murder and rape of Terri Winchell of Lodi, California.
The execution was delayed three times late Monday and early Tuesday, the first time when Crittendon said the execution was delayed an hour so the prison warden could review the execution process with the anesthesiologist.
Two last-minute appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution failed late on Monday.
In a statement last week, Dr. Priscilla Ray, chairwoman of the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, condemned the ruling that required the anesthesiologists present.
"The use of a physician's clinical skill and judgment for purposes other than promoting an individual's health and welfare undermines a basic ethical foundation of medicine -- first do no harm," she said. "Requiring physicians to be involved in executions violates their oath to protect lives."
Of course,this doesn't apply to "doctors" who work at Planed Parenthood.
Of course killing babies doesn't come under the heading of "first do no harm."/SAR
Well then, they can bring in an abortionist to crush his skull and suck out his brains.
I have to admit, the doctors have a good case. First do no harm would seem to preclude making a buck off of executions.
So did he get the juice or not?
While you're technically correct, congratulations on hijacking the thread so early.
Why do they even need doctors? Just get an experienced junkie from one of the cellblocks to come up and take care of business.
Maybe they could "minimize" his pain by beating him in the head with a hammer, strangling him with a belt and then stabbing him in the chest just like he did to Terri Winchell before they give him the "lethal" injection. Maybe that would satisfy the bleeding heart "liberals".
Why was this POS allowed to live for 23 years at taxpayers expense? Why wasn't he offed a long time ago? Rhetorical question. Nevermind.
U%*()%*&%*^())_*! Execute this SOB already. He didn't show any concern for his victim's comfort.
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!
death by starvation....the courts have already ruled that this is humane and not cruel or painful.........stap 'em down in a bed, and just close the door for a coupla weeks..........or, death by 90 story drop, this one is competely painless!!!!!!!
Right, WITHOUT ANESTHESIA, just like the babies get.
"death by starvation....the courts have already ruled that this is humane and not cruel or painful"
heck it is even euphoric and filled with dignity! (of course that does not explain why American are so fat....if starving is such a euphoric high then why aren't more people doing it?)
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