Pros And Cons Of Capital Punishment

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Capital punishment is one of the most controversial ethical issues that our country faces these days. Capital punishment is the legal penalty of death for a person that has performed heinous acts in the eyes of the judicial system. Discussion on whether capital punishment is humane or considered cruel and unusual punishment has been the main issue this of debate for years. Recent discussion goes far beyond the act itself but now brings into question whether medical personal should aid in this practice.
It is important to state that this paper will not address the issue on whether capital punishment itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Instead I will discuss allowing nurses to participate in lethal injection,
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Having a nurse perform this duty does not give approval of the act itself, but does abide by both the ANA and the Constitution’s stance that the person is treated humanely and with dignity.
Another argument made against capital punishment it goes against the nurses’ code of ethic (similar to the Hippocratic oath for medical doctors). It is argued that participation in capital punishment would tarnish the reputation of the medical community and associate medicine with death and execution. However, the Hippocratic oath and code of ethics has previously been revised to accommodate the Roe vs Wade legislature (George, 2011), which addresses the issue of abortion. Again, the ANA takes an opposition stance regarding the topic of abortion, but does not condemn nurses from participation.
A letter written by a nurse to the editor of the Nebraska Nurse questioned the ANA’s stance on both these issues stating:
“The nursing’s ' ethical code of conduct, stipulates that "the nurse does not act deliberately to terminate the life of any person." and ... "historically, the role of the nurse has been to promote, preserve and protect human life ... regardless of the personal opinion of the nurse on the appropriateness of capital punishment, it is a breach of the ethical traditions of nursing, and the Code for Nurses to participate in taking the life of any person. The writer questioned if the ANA would take the same stance on nurse participation if the words capital punishment were

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