During the year 2018, India witnessed expansion of death penalty offences via amendments to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. While most of the world is moving towards abolishment of death penalty such developments in India are intriguing. Currently Death Penalty is valid in India for crimes of Rape, Murder and Terrorist Activities. Both in India and around the world death penalty which is also referred to as death penalty has been extensively discussed from the point of view of ethics, human rights, and justice to survivors or victims of concerned crimes/offences committed by the perpetrator. Amongst others, participation of health care professionals in death penalty at various stages of justice delivery including execution of a convict has been central to these debates over centuries. Current international codes of ethics, such as, the ethics codes promulgated by international and national bodies of health professionals such as the World Medical Association (WMA) and intergovernmental entities like United Nations generally mandate complete loyalty to patients. However, literature vindicates the fact that throughout human history, health care professionals did participate in executions and it continues to date in different parts of the world, including India.
Against this backdrop, and in the current context of expanding scope of offences subjected to death penalty, exploring the various questions we have asked earlier is warranted. Ideally speaking, it seems questioning constitutional validity of death penalty itself, in India is warranted. However, in the interim it would be of importance to get insights into health care professionals’ perspectives and attitudes about the death penalty and the role of death penalty within the justice system, various aspects of their participation in death penalty; as also on their role in improving prison standards including for health care in prison. The proposed research is a step towards this goal.
- Exploratory qualitative research& Online Survey
- Essay competition (2018-19) for IJME’s Young Bioethicists Awards
- Round table (Feb 2019, Pune)
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