I'm a Machine, Not a Doctor, Dammit!


The federal judge in North Carolina who halted a murderer's execution because of concerns that he might experience pain from the lethal injection if he was not properly knocked out has agreed to allow the use of a brain wave monitor that will verify the prisoner's unconsciousness. It looks like the state won't have to find a physician to directly oversee the execution after all. Although machines don't have moral qualms, "doctors at Aspect Medical Systems, which makes the device, have said they would not have sold one to the state if they had known its intended use."

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  1. I thought this whole, “it’s too painful to execute a convicted murderer” thing was playing out in California. Is the whole being duplicated in North Carolina?

  2. This reminds me of the decision made in Israel recently that, although it is supposedly unacceptable for someone to facilitate someone’s death if they are on life support, the life suport machine can be rigged with a timer to allow it to turn itself off — as if it wasn’t people in the first place making it happen. Self-deception is an amazing thing. At least the doctors at Aspect Medical see the world more complexly than a child does.

  3. But what if the machine is programmed with the 3 laws of robotics?

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