“Well Enough to Execute”: The Health Professional's Responsibility to the Death Row Inmate

Eugene V. Boisaubin, Alexander G. Duarte, Patricia Blair, T. Howard Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Capital punishment is one of the most controversial issues in America and also creates unique problems for the medical professionals who care for persons sentenced to death. An introductory true case vignette describes a death row inmate who overdosed on sedative medication 48 hours before his scheduled execution and was rushed to a university hospital for care. After treatment and stabilization, he was returned to prison where he was immediately executed by lethal injection. This clinical case raises several professional, legal, and ethical issues, including how general medical care should be provided to the death row inmate and how this care might be influenced by the increasing proximity of execution. Presented last are new guidelines for medical care on death row that balance the physician's professional obligations to the inmate as patient against the requirements of the criminal justice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Correctional Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of '“Well Enough to Execute”: The Health Professional's Responsibility to the Death Row Inmate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this