Friday, May 1, 2009

Supreme Court slaps medical board

Last week, the NC Supreme Court ruled that the medical board does not have authority over ethics, at least as far as executions are concerned. The Medical Board--following the socratic oath's principle of "do no harm," had ruled it unethical for doctors to participate in executions. Such participation is necessary under NC law of lethal injection.

The Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, struck down the medical board ethics ruling, deciding that doctors, who have a long history of managing their own ethical principles, are hamstrung when it comes to executions. The Medical Board is powerless to discipline those doctors who participate in executions.

This opens a path to renewed executions in NC, which haven't occurred in nearly two years. All that is remaining is a Wake County Superior challenge to the administrative procedure that the counsel of state used in creating the current execution protocol. A number of important reforms are moving through the state legislature. Hopefully, they will be in place to protect the unjustly sentence, before NC begins killing again.

Click here to read the full decision.

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