ANA Releases New Position Statement Opposing Capital Punishment (2/21/17)

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February 21, 2017

Veronica Byrd 301-628-5057
David Allen 301-628-5391

ANA Releases New Position Statement Opposing Capital Punishment

Silver Spring, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) today announced its opposition to both capital punishment and nurses' participation in capital punishment. This new position is particularly relevant given the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States, who, if approved, will likely tip the court in favor of capital punishment.

The ANA has long been opposed to nurse participation in executions, either directly or indirectly, as it is contrary to the fundamental goals and ethical traditions of the nursing profession. Today's announcement strengthens ANA's position, adding it to the ranks of many U.S. and global human rights organizations opposing capital punishment, such as Amnesty International, the International Council of Nurses, and the American Public Health Association.

"The American Nurses Association is gravely concerned with the human rights of individuals facing execution," said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. "Capital punishment is a human rights violation, and ANA is proud to stand in strong opposition to the death penalty. All human beings, regardless of their crimes, should be treated with dignity. For those states where capital punishment is currently legal, the American Nurses Association will continue to provide ethical guidance, education, and resources for nurses and other health care providers dealing with these ethical dilemmas."

ANA's Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board reviewed and unanimously approved the position statement. The statement was presented to the public for a 30-day comment period and subsequently approved by the ANA Board of Directors in December 2016. The full position statement and FAQs are linked here.

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