Issue paper


  • Specializes in Med-Surg; Pain Clinic; School Nurse. Has 14 years experience.

Hello everyone. I hope question fits here. I have to do an issue paper on if nurses should participate in capital punishment. I've found a lot of information on physicians, but nothing specific to nurses. I have to argue pros and cons and, of course, I've found a lot of cons and hardly any pros. Could someone give me suggestions as to where I could find some current information (within the last 2 years) on this topic. You all are lifesavers (no pun intended)!


Wishinonastar, BSN

3 Articles; 1,000 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

You need to use your school's library computers to access recent journals online. Unless you are a college student you don't have access to most online journal services. Schools pay for this just so you can do your research. Most things that you google will give you only opinions, not scholarly articles which is what you need for school. A quick google of the question did lead me to an ANA position paper and some other legal issue sites that might be usueful.

One thing you can do is look at it from the aspects of benefitting society as a whole, and the aspect of life in prison is a terrible quality of life. Formulate some questions and seek the answers, then form your own opinion. Some nurses can't participate in abortions, other feel they are helping the patient through a necessary procedure and their duty is to that patient. They did not choose or encourage the abortion, they are only there to make sure the patient gets through it safely. It is all in how you look at your work- must the work itself be ethically acceptable to you? Or is your small part in it the only thing that must be ethical?

Tough assignment, good luck.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

I thought I saw something on a TV documentary showing a nurse inserting the IV into the inmate's arm before he was given his letal injection. So, that, to me, says that nurses are involved in capital punishment. However, I don't remember what TV program it was or what state it was in.

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