To the Editor:
This past weekend, capital punishment was a topic of much discussion. And rightly so. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday is celebrated this time every year, spoke out against the death penalty during his life as a civil rights leader.
I had the opportunity to attend a press conference at in Hamden on MLK Day where several community leaders shared his message for repeal and I was moved by their words.
There are many reasons to be opposed to the death penalty—it does no deter crime, it costs too much money, it risks executing an innocent person, the list goes on. As a physician, my reasons for opposing the death penalty are also professional.
The American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics clearly states, “A physician, as a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life when there is hope of doing so, should not be a participant in a legally authorized execution” (2.06).
I proudly join several of my colleagues in the health profession, and challenge others, in taking this one step further to advocate for an end to executions once and for all, no matter who is carrying them out.
Trishul Siddharthan M.D.
Resident Physician, Yale Internal Medicine