Death penalty opponents hail ethics ruling that could further restrict availability and increase pressure on state authorities to halt capital punishment
A leading association for US pharmacists has told its members they should not provide drugs for use in lethal injections — a move that could make carrying out executions even harder for death penalty states.
The declaration approved by American Pharmacists Association delegates at a meeting in San Diego says the practice of providing lethal-injection drugs is contrary to the role of pharmacists as healthcare providers.
The association lacks legal authority to bar its members from selling execution drugs but its policies set pharmacists’ ethical standards.
Pharmacists now join doctors and anaesthesiologists [and nurses - DPN] in having national associations with ethics codes that call on members not to participate in executions.
“Now there is unanimity among all health professions in the United States who represent anybody who might be asked to be involved in this process,” said association member Bill Fassett, who voted for the policy.
The American Pharmacists Association has more than 62,000 members.
Compounding pharmacies, which make drugs specifically for individual clients, only recently became involved in the execution-drug business.
Prison departments have turned to made-to-order cocktails from compounding pharmacies because pharmaceutical manufacturers started to refuse to sell the drugs that had been used for decades in lethal injections after coming under pressure from death penalty opponents.
Source: The Guardian, March 31, 2015
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