Last updated on: 12/6/2016 | Author:

Kenneth F. Baum, MD, JD Biography

Partner at Goldman, Ismail, Tomaselli, Brennan & Baum, LLP
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“We expect physicians to offer comfort care to the dying, even if the treatment, like morphine to dampen end-stage cancer pain, will inevitably hasten death. These physicians are not killing their patients; they are comforting them in their final moments of life…

Death row inmates have certain parallels to dying patients. Death is coming. A physician can do nothing to change that. All that can be offered is professional care during the final moments of life. And that should be of comfort to the condemned…

The idea that physicians may participate in executions does not mean that they must do so. But it should be an option for those who believe that they have a duty to ease suffering and that this duty includes caring for those who will die at the hands of the state…

Physician involvement in lethal injection can make capital punishment less grotesque, more palatable, and even routine. But so long as the state uses the tools of the physician to kill its citizens, those who wish to step in to ensure that executions are, at the very least, competently handled should have the option to do so. Anything else is death penalty politics at the expense of the condemned. And no matter where you come out on capital punishment, no one should be sentenced to a botched execution.”

Cowritten with Julie Cantor, “Doctors Can Ease Suffering, Even in Executions,”, Apr. 30, 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Partner, Goldman, Ismail, Tomaselli, Brennan & Baum, LLP, 2009-present
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • Member, State Bar of California
  • Member, State Bar of Connecticut
  • Former Partner and Associate Attorney, Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott, LLP
  • Former Associate, Wiggin and Dana LLP
  • Founding Director, Yale Health Law Society
  • Former Editor, Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics
  • Former Lecturer, Yale University, 2001-2002
  • JD, Yale University, 2001
  • MD, Yale University, 2001
  • BA, Psychology, University of California at Berkeley, 1994
  • None Found
Quoted in:
  1. Is Participation in Executions Ethical for Medical Professionals?