On Monday, Georgia plans to execute Warren Hill, a man with an IQ of 70, who was convicted of committing two murders. The case raises difficult questions about the execution of developmentally disabled individuals. Further, the state, hampered by a shortage of lethal execution drugs, plans to use only one drug, instead of the cocktail it previously used.
Here’s a story that presents multiple interesting ethical issues. Yes, they’ve been covered before, but this case is now in the news; the execution is imminent. Nevertheless, a Google search reveals a scattering of brief stories, but not many that explore these issues.
You can find a notable exception at The Atlantic, where Ford Vox explores the issues in the context of the positions of the American Medical Association and the Medical Association of Georgia. The AMA opposes doctors’ participation in capital punishment, Vox writes, but the Medical Association of Georgia apparently “will be standing behind the doctor who will be making one of Georgia’s most questionable executions possible.”
Further, it seems that the prison where Hill will be executed is “accredited” by the Georgia medical association. Vox reports that the national accreditation association has not accredited any prisons in Georgia. Why is the medical association in this business? And the association apparently has a policy against doctors performing executions, but it hasn’t enforced that policy.
If this sounds complicated, I can assure you that Vox’s telling is clearer than mine.
Vox reports that the doctor and staff members who attend the execution share a payment of $18,000.