Execution by Lethal Injection Questioned

by Medindia Content Team on  April 25, 2007 at 4:10 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Execution by Lethal Injection Questioned
The Lethal injection to execute prisoners of death sentence is being questioned. A study by Plos medicine reveal that the lethal injection causes intense pain. It also upholds the study by the UK based Lancet in 2005.

This injection is the foremost method used for execution in 34 states and federal government but many have put a stop to it as a result of ethical debates.

The three-drug method has one drug to induce sleep, the second to stop breathing and the third to stop the heart. As a humane alternative to the electric chair, Oklahoma lawmakers adopted this method. The three injections are supposed to produce unconsciousness and then death due to respiratory and cardiac arrest.

The study has found that the drug is not working as intended. The anesthesia was insufficient to reduce suffering. In many cases the fated is still found to be breathing even after being administered the drug to stop breathing or paralyze them. In the case of the other drug to stop heart beat the heart was found to be beating up to nine minutes in some cases. It caused burning sensation which was extremely painful.

On May 15, California Department of Corrections is scheduled to present a new proposal for lethal injection procedures to U.S. District Court judge Jeremy Fogel, who has blocked executions in the state since February 2006, declaring that the existing protocols were "intolerable under the constitution'' but could be repaired.

Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, in Sacramento, said that "all methods of execution involve some pain, and we know that.'' He says that that if a condemned criminal is administered just the same amount of anesthetic that puts a patient under for surgery, "that would be sufficient to make it not cruel."

Based on its latest study the Plos Medicine has put forward the opinion that lethal injection is not humane and cannot be improved upon. "There is no ethical way to establish the humaneness of procedures for killing people who do not wish to die,'' They further add that "execution by lethal injection ... has the same relationship to medicine that an executioner's axe has to surgery."

Source: Medindia

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