Critiques ethical arguments against conducting forensic evaluations of capital defendants or condemned prisoners and against treating prisoners found incompetent for execution, and considers the impact of widespread professional abstention on the legal system. Arguments for abstention by forensic evaluators may be grounded in personal moral scruples against capital punishment, rather than in tenets of professional ethics, but abstention would be ethically required if the evaluator's scruples preclude objectivity. Treatment of incompetent prisoners known to want treatment is ethically permissible but treatment for the sole purpose of readying the prisoner for execution is not. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Richard J. Bonnie, Dilemmas in Administering the Death Penalty: Conscientious Abstention, Professional Ethics, and the Needs of the Legal System, 14 Law & Human Behavior 67–90 (1990).