Issuing a statement, the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has said it is unethical for medical practitioners to be part of the execution process fully or partially, or to check the suitability of the prisoners, even under pressure.

In its statement, the SLMC emphasized that respect for human life is the highest ethic of the medical profession. According to the council, therefore, taking part in the execution process will be contrary to medical ethics.

Acting President of the SLMC Dr Panduka Karunanayake had issued the statement with regard to the council’s stance on the President’s recent decision to reintroduce the death penalty in Sri Lanka.

As an organization that seeks to ensure its members adhere to ethics at all times, it is concerned about the hurried attempts to introduce the death penalty which can affect both the nation and the medical community, Dr Karunanayake noted.

"Civilized society has questioned the justification of handing the death penalty to a prisoner," the statement pointed out adding that many including legal experts have stressed that capital punishment is not suitable for Sri Lanka due to the existing issues in the legal system.

Against ethics!

“We would like to point out that it is against the ethics of doctors to participate in the process of the death penalty or to check the suitability of the prisoners. Respect for human life, despite the pressure, is one of the highest ethics of our profession” the release said.

The SLMC through its statement also requested that the government refrain from carrying out the death penalty.

“If there are any social objectives behind this move, then we urge all parties to continue the dialogue on other viable mechanisms for achieving this” it further added.