About one in five physicians responding to an anonymous survey said they would be willing to personally administer a lethal injection to a death- row inmate, in direct contradiction of ethical guidelines adopted more than two decades ago by the American Medical Association. And 36% of respondents to the 413-person survey said they would be willing to pronounce the prisoner dead, another action disallowed by the AMA. Only about 3% of the respondents were familiar with the medical society's guidelines. "Regardless of the small size of these numbers, the fact that some physicians would be willing to perform actions involving lethal injections is of concern," researchers wrote last week in Annals of Internal Medicine, which published the survey results.
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