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Keywords:

  • the goals of medicine;
  • execution by lethal injection;
  • euthanasia;
  • organ-donation;
  • moral principles;
  • Dworkin;
  • Silver

ABSTRACT

In a recent issue of this journal, David Silver and Gerald Dworkin discuss the physicians' role in execution by lethal injection. Dworkin concludes that discussion by stating that, at that point, he is unable to think of an acceptable set of moral principles to support the view that it is illegitimate for physicians to participate in execution by lethal injection that would not rule out certain other plausible moral judgements, namely that euthanasia is under certain conditions legitimate and that organ-donation surgery is sometimes permissible. This article draws attention to some problems in the views of Silver and Dworkin and suggests moral principles which support the three moral views just mentioned.