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Rules for Doctors


To the Editor:

Ethical standards are a very important aspect of the medical profession: They help to ensure the trust and safety of our patients and society at large. The American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics has, for a long time, prohibited the participation of physicians in capital punishment. This is because physicians, as members of a profession dedicated to preserving life, have no place in an activity that knowingly leads to the death of an individual, as your Sept. 25 editorial "Death docs?" said.

In January, the N.C. Medical Board adopted a position statement on physician participation in capital punishment that endorsed the AMA standard. As part of this position, the board stated that any physician who engages in any verbal or physical activity that facilitates the execution may be subject to disciplinary action by this board.

Yet the Wake County Superior Court decided that the N.C. Medical Board does not have the authority to enforce its standards on capital punishment -- this is a deeply troubling decision.

The medical profession has always had the responsibility of ensuring that physicians act in an ethical manner, thereby protecting all with whom physicians interact in a professional capacity. A court decision that removes enforcement of ethical standards from the profession sets a dangerous precedent.

Sincerely,

IMCAS BALI 2017
BS LE VAN SENXCUONG

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