APhA: Pharmacists shouldn't assist with criminal executions

The American Pharmacists Association's House of Delegates voted on Monday to adopt a new policy that discourages the participation of pharmacists in criminal executions because it contradicts the mission of a pharmacist.

“The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) discourages pharmacist participation in executions on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care,” the newly adopted policy said.

The new policy statement joins two other policies from 1985 and 2004, which were previously adopted by the American Pharmacists Association House of Delegates. The two previously adopted policies state:

1. The APhA opposes the use of the term "drug" for chemicals when used in lethal injections.

2. The APhA opposes laws and regulations that mandate or prohibit the participation of pharmacists in the process of execution by lethal injection.

“Pharmacists are health care providers, and pharmacist participation in executions conflicts with the profession’s role on the patient health care team,” APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas Menighan said. “This new policy aligns APhA with the execution policies of other major health care associations, including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Board of Anesthesiology.”

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American Pharmacists Association 2215 Constitution Ave NW D.C., DC 20037