Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the North Carolina Medical Board can't punish physicians who violate their sacred oaths by helping the state execute death row inmates. Today, Dr. Charles van der Horst, pushed back by drawing a bright line in the bloody sand. Please read his column in the News and Observer.
Attention legislators, justices and assorted members of the executive branch: We do not kill to fulfill the state's business. The Constitution says that you must not let prisoners suffer "cruel and unusual" punishment and so you decide physicians would help you kill in a constitutional manner. That morally dubious thinking may be popular within your circles, but legal decisions aside, the white-coated set is simply not going to comply.
I doubt that Dr. van der Horst speaks for the entire white-coated set. Plenty of doctors support capital punishment, and some will likely volunteer to help. When that happens, I hope the State and the doctors themselves will take their dirty work out into the public square so everyone one can see who is killing whom and how. There should be no anonymity for anyone who chooses to be part of state-sponsored executions.