Last updated on: 2/2/2011 | Author:

Robert Truog, MD Biography

Professor of Medical Ethics and Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?"

“If I think of the kind of a hypothetical where you have an inmate who is about to be executed and knows that this execution may involve excruciating suffering, that inmate requests the involvement of a physician, because he knows that the physician can prevent that suffering from occurring, and if there is a physician who is willing to do that, and we know from surveys that many are, I honestly can’t think of any principle of medical ethics that would say that that is an unethical thing for the physician to do.”

“Perspective Roundtable: Physicians and Execution,” New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 18, 2008

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to death penalty issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to death penalty issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Medical Ethics and Anesthesiology, Harvard Medical School
  • Senior Associate, Critical Care Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston
  • Director of Clinical Ethics, Division of Medical Ethics and the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Chair, Harvard Human Subjects Research Committee, Harvard University
  • Member, Harvard University Faculty Committee, Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics
  • Recipient, Christopher Grenvik Memorial Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • MD, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, Philosophy, Brown University
  • Honorary Masters Degree, Harvard University, 2000
Quoted in:
  1. Should Physicians Participate in Executions?