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Physicians Should Treat Mentally Ill Death Row Inmates, Even

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Physicians Should Treat Mentally Ill Death Row Inmates, Even

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The history of physician involvement in capital proceedings is longstanding and ripe with controversy and conflicts of ethical concerns. Previously one of us (Phillips) has written that the controversy is more appropriately characterized as a conflict of moral position rather than one of ethical dilemma.1
In hindsight, we believe that analysis, while true, does not capture the depth or complexity of the issue.
Forensic psychiatric evaluations, including competency to be executed evaluations, are done with a clear understanding that no physician-patient relationship exists. Treatment, however, is not so neatly re-categorized in large measure because it involves the physician’s active provision of the healing arts.

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Physicians Should Treat Mentally Ill Death Row Inmates, Even If Treatment Is Refused

Additional Information

Author Melissa McDonnell and Robert T. M. Phillips
Number 4
Volume 38
Publication JLME
Journal Year 2010
 

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