Pfizer’s freedom of thought

 The Blade


Pfizer Inc. – the pharmaceutical giant – has taken a bold stance against the use of its drugs for executions, one that will please many progressive opponents of the death penalty.

The drug company announced the following policy: If a government agency wants Pfizer to supply it with drugs of kinds sometimes used in (or considered for use in) lethal injections, it will have to certify that it is buying the drugs for medical, not punitive, use, and that it won’t resell them. Pfizer also said it will “act upon findings that reveal noncompliance.”

Thus, in practical terms, the policy will function as a ban on the use of Pfizer drugs in executions. . . [Full Text]


I was told to approve a lethal injection, but it violates my basic medical ethics

We risk botched executions so long as they are conducted in a scientific vacuum and medical professionals operate devoid of any moral compass

The Guardian

Marc Stern

I peered through the small window of an otherwise solid steel door of the isolation wing of the prison, and saw a small man on his knees in front of his steel framed bed. He had committed many murders and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Perhaps he was praying. Perhaps he was looking for a pencil. But that’s when it struck me: There might be a punishment worse than execution.

Other than a maximum of one hour per day when he could be escorted to a recreational cage outdoors, he would spend the next 10, 20, perhaps 30 years of his life in this very room – eight feet by 10 feet. He would have little contact with other human beings aside from officers and medical professionals. Forging a new friendship or hugging a loved one, if possible at all, would be rare, supervised and not likely spontaneous. His life would be restricted to the same 80 square feet – forever. . . [Full Text]


New execution protocol similar to doctor-assisted suicide recommended

New York Post

Lindsey Bever

Days after the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett, a bipartisan committee studying the death penalty has recommended a new one-drug lethal injection method to kill quickly and “minimize the risk of pain or suffering.”

The committee, formed by the Constitution Project long before the Lockett execution, urged states to administer an overdose of one anesthetic or barbiturate to cause death – the same method used in doctor-assisted suicides. (To read the report, click here.)

This method would replace a three-drug lethal injection protocol currently used by most states that employ the death penalty. . . [Full text]

El problema de la objeción de conciencia no regulada

Cuando la conciencia molesta a la ley

Sean Murphy*

A finales de 2010, en la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (PACE) se presentó un informe de su Comisión de Asuntos Sociales, Salud y Familia en el que expresaba su profunda preocupación por el problema de la “objeción de conciencia no regulada” en Europa. El Comité propuso que los Estados adoptaran “una regulación integral y clara” para hacer frente a este problema. . .[aceprensa]

The problem of unregulated conscientious objection

  Sean Murphy*

In late 2010, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was presented with a report from its Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee expressing deep concern about the problem of “unregulated conscientious objection” in Europe.  The Committee proposed to solve this problem by having states adopt “comprehensive and clear regulations” to address it.

The Council ultimately adopted a resolution that almost completely contradicted the premises of the report, but in 2011 the theme was resurrected by Dr. Leslie Cannold, an Australian ethicist.  Dr. Cannold warned that, “[a]t best, unregulated conscientious objection is an accident waiting to happen,” and, at worst, “a sword wielded by the pious against the vulnerable with catastrophic results.”  It was, she wrote, “a pressing problem from which we can no longer, in good conscience, look away.” . . .[Full text]