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Execution bill passes first hurdle in State Essembly

A bill that would prohibit doctors from taking part in an execution has passed its first hurdle in the California Assembly. The measure is prompted by a recent court decision requiring licensed medical professionals to assist in the execution of a convicted murderer. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The execution of Michael Morales had to be suspended earlier this year when two anesthesiologists refused to take part.

The pending bill would prohibit doctors from playing any role in an execution, including determining the time of death.

Assemblyman Ted Lieu co-wrote the measure.

A doctor, before they can become a doctor, they take an oath, the Hippocratic Oath. And the first tenet of that oath is first do no harm. And a doctor who is executing someone would be violating that oath.

As Lieu's bill moves through the Assembly, executions are on hold in California. Next month, a federal judge will hold hearings on the constitutionality of legal injections in the state. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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