[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 5, 1960

Medical Research and the Death Penalty: A Dialogue

JAMA. 1960;174(10):1351. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030100119039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The author argues that a condemned prisoner should be able to choose anesthesia from which he would never awaken (for the purpose of medical experimentation to be subsequently performed) as a method of execution. Whereas he does not discuss the merits of capital punishment, he asserts that, since it is used, the use of anesthesia would result in a more pleasant death for the condemned. This would also be of great benefit in medical research and, in turn, of great benefit to society. The material is presented in the form of a debate. The author assumes the role of the protagonist, while the antagonist is representative of newspaper articles, personal letters, and private communications.

The author believes that some of the merits of using anesthesia as a form of execution are as follows: It is a relatively more pleasant way to die than by the electric chair, gas chamber, or

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview