Governor Fletcher may not have been acting as a physician when he signed Thomas Clyde Bowling's death warrant, but he should have been. True, Governor Fletcher has sworn to uphold his duties as governor, but he also swore - most likely long ago when he first became a physician - to uphold the ethics of the medical profession. Not only has Governor Fletcher never renounced this oath, but he also demonstrates his status as an active physician by holding a current Kentucky medical license.
If Governor Fletcher was at an official state function and a guest keeled over from a heart attack or a "cafe coronary," would he fail to render aid on the grounds that he is the governor and therefore not required to act as a physician? Of course not. Why? Because the ethical tradition of the medical profession - which demands that physicians be healers and not killers - is over 2,400 years old. Generations of medical students have recited the Hippocratic Oath long before Kentucky achieved statehood in 1792.