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On February 11, 2003, the State of Arkansas was given permission to force prisoner, Charles Laverne Singleton, to take medicine to make him sane enough to be executed for felony capital murder. The passage clearly states Arkansas’ stance on using antipsychotic drugs to make Singleton sane enough to be executed. After more research I found that Singleton remained in the appeals process for 24 years after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was finally decided that Singleton would be given drugs to deem him sane enough to be executed by lethal injection. POSITION
Based on my background as a nursing major, I believe that the use of medicine on a prisoner to make him sane enough for execution is acceptable. The passage states that Singleton became insane during his imprisonment. The passage also quoted David Kaczynski, the executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, saying that, “Medicine is supposed to heal people…”. Kaczynski is clearly biased as he is part of an organization against the death penalty. For all we know, providing the antipsychotic for Singleton could have helped the insanity he was enduring, none of us will know for sure. Singleton will be the only person to know his suffering which could have been unbearable and by providing the medicine, the State of Arkansas actually did him a favor. SUPPORT
When it comes to medicine regardless of what it is being used for, there should be no debate over it if it means benefiting the health of a human being, even if it is to prepare them for an execution. Yes, the prisoner committed a crime, however he is also suffering and that should not be ignored, regardless of the severity of his crime. “Medicine is supposed to heal people, not prepare them for execution”, was stated by Kaczynski. This does not take into account what else medicine does. Medicine can be used to make a patient comfortable. When someone is preparing for death due to an incurable disease, they are put on hospice care. This means that they only receive palliative care to keep them comfortable before they die. They may receive medicine for the pain, such as morphine, knowingly it won’t sure them, but make them more comfortable. Medicine is designed to assist any human being in their comfort. When prisoners come into the hospital for care, the nurses are trained they must treat them just like any other human being. A person is still a person, no matter what they have done in their past. OBJECTION
Many would argue that wasting medicine on criminals is a waste of taxpayers dollars. However I would hate to wonder how those taxpayers would feel if it were their family member needing the medical attention and treatment for schizophrenia that Singleton needed. People are so quick to judge and assume things. They assume that prisoners do not need the same kind of treatment as non prisoners. They also need to realize where else their tax money goes to. Many times, our tax money goes to people that abuse the system. It goes to people that receive food stamps, and then sell it to go get cash for drugs instead. Our tax money goes to various places that people do not know about. Conclusion
In conclusion, there are two sides to every story. We don’t fully know what Singleton was going through to be able to judge him. Medicine is designed to benefit anyone that needs it. We should not be able to put restrictions on who is worthy to receive it and who is not.