Zonana, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University and clinical professor (adjunct) of law at Yale Law School, has helped bring the expertise of AAPL to issues of psychiatry and the law addressed by the AMA. He also has been a passionate voice for the rights of people with mental illness. At the 2007 AMA Annual Meeting, the House of Delegates approved a resolution brought by the Section Council on Psychiatry that reaffirmed the organization's prohibition on physician involvement in the execution of defendants convicted of capital offenses. At that meeting, Zonana also spoke on behalf of a resolution calling for a national moratorium on executions generally. "The politics of the death penalty has shifted dramatically in favor of death," he said at the meeting. "Legislators have consistently strengthened the number of crimes [punishable by death] and cut back the funding for defense of capital defendants. This has resulted in a process whereby you get death not for having committed the worst crime, but for having been assigned the worst lawyer."
Zonana has also been a prominent speaker at APA meetings, talking about psychiatry, ethics, and the law. For more information, see the Psychiatric News articles http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=113546 and http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=113670.
(Image: Mark Moran)