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USA: medical concern: death penalty legislation in Illinois

, N° d'index: AMR 51/067/1995

Legislation re-defining the role of doctors in the process of executions has been signed into law in Illinois. The bill appears to have been introduced in response to widespread professional opposition to medical involvement in executions in Illinois. It provides for exemption of doctors assisting at executions from the Medical Practice Act. This would mean, in effect, that doctors could assist at executions in Illinois without being subject to legal and medical ethical requirements regulating medical conduct. AI believes that this legislation represents a grave departure from acceptable practice. Proposed legislation which would remove doctors from the execution process has been stalled through lack of support.

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