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Psychiatry and the death penalty.
  1. M Kastrup
  1. Frederiksberg Hospital, Denmark.


    Mentally ill people are not to be judged by the same rules as the mentally fit. Prisoners evaluated medically unfit for execution must undergo psychiatric treatment until their mental health is restored. Psychiatrists are placed in an ethical dilemma when asked to judge the mental health of prisoners on death row. A high prevalence of psychiatric and neurological disorders are reported on death row. Health professionals have an important role in implementing codes of ethics prohibiting any involvement in the execution process. Resolutions have already been passed by several associations including the World Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and Nordic medical associations.

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