22 Oktober 2017
Velkommen til Danish medical group against the death penalty

Standardbreve

Standard letter to authority in a country considering introducing lethal injection.


We are writing to you on behalf of the (number) Medical Doctors members of the Medical Group, Amnesty International, (country) Section, concerning the use of lethal injection as a method of execution.

Amnesty International is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty as a violation of fundamental human rights

We have been informed that (country, state) is considering introducing lethal injection as the method of execution. We are very concerned about this development for several reasons.

As medical doctors we are particularly concerned at the use of medicine, medical knowledge, technology and personnel including doctors for a purpose contrary to what Medicine should be used for: saving lives and curing illnesses. In our opinion it is absolutely contrary to fundamental medical ethics for a medical doctor to participate in an execution.

A large number of national and international medical associations have adopted declarations against medical participation in executions, including the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association (last to be excluded in letters to some countries, other national medical association resolutions or statements might be included).

The use of lethal injection for execution is a way to falsely give the execution a more “humane” appearance although there is no documentation to support, that prisoners suffer less before and during the execution by this method.

We strongly urge you to abstain from introducing lethal injection as a method of execution and instead to review the basis for the use of the death penalty in (country, state) with a view to abolish this medieval punishment in line with many other civilized countries around the world.

We should be most interested to have your opinion on these matters.


On behalf of the Medical Group of Amnesty International, (country) Section

Yours sincerely


Standard letter to medical association in a country considering introducing lethal injection.


We are writing to you on behalf of the (number) Medical Doctors, all members of the Medical Group of Amnesty International, (country) Section, concerning the use of lethal injection as a method of execution.

Amnesty International is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty as a violation of fundamental human rights.

We have been informed that (country, state) is considering introducing lethal injection as the method of execution. We are very concerned about this development for several reasons and have written to (authority).

Enclosed you will find a copy of this letter.

In relation to lethal injection we are particularly concerned at the use of medicine and medical knowledge, technology and personnel including doctors for a purpose contrary to what Medicine should be used for: saving lives and curing illnesses. In our opinion it is absolutely contrary to fundamental medical ethics for a medical doctor to participate in an execution.

As you probably know a large number of national and international medical associations have adopted declarations or other statements against medical participation in executions, including the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association (last to be excluded in letters to some countries, other national medical association resolutions or statements might be included).

The British Medical Association (BMA) has gone a step further, not only dissociating itself from doctors’ involvement in the death penalty, but also stating that the BMA is completely against the use of the death penalty worldwide. The Indian Medical Associations and the medical associations of the five Nordic countries have also expressed their opposition to the death penalty as a legal punishment.

Furthermore, we believe that the use of lethal injection for execution is a way to falsely give the execution a more “humane” appearance although there is no documentation to support the view that prisoners suffer less before execution or that mental and physical suffering during execution qualifies the lethal injection as pain-free.

By this letter we strongly urge your Medical Association – in line with many other national medical associations - to take a stand against medical participation in executions and in particular against the use of lethal injection as a method of execution, and to make your ethical stand clear to the authorities in your country.

We should be most interested to have your opinion on these matters and look forward to hearing from you.


On behalf of the Medical Group of Amnesty International, (country) Section