lethal injection


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lethal injection

A method of capital punishment by a combination of medications, typically, a sedative, a paralytic agent, an analgesic agent, and a fatal dose of potassium. Unlike other forms of execution (such as electrocution or the gas chamber), lethal injection is the only method that relies upon the direct participation of health care professionals. Some professional organizations (such as the American Medical Association) and several state boards with oversight over health care practic, have questioned whether the participation of health care professionals in lethal injection is appropriate, legal, or moral.
See also: injection

lethal injection

An increasingly widely-used method of execution of condemned criminals using thiopentone followed by pancuronium and potassium chloride. Since the method involves intravenous skills rarely available to non-medical people, doctors are commonly asked to advise or even participate-which few, if any, can contemplate without revulsion. The movement against lethal injection is gaining momentum.
References in periodicals archive ?
Part I briefly discusses the history of lethal injection in the United States and the impact of drug unavailability on states that utilize lethal injection as a means of execution.
As a result, the attorneys are challenging the Department of Criminal Justice to release the identity of lethal injection drug suppliers from before the law went into effect last September.
Another Oklahoma legislator, State Senator Bill Dawson, was also looking into the possibility of a lethal injection protocol.
As the more common lethal injection drugs have become harder to get, state legislatures have explored other lethal injection protocols.
In 2001, the first of three drugs used in the lethal injection cocktail, sodium thiopental, was discontinued by the only FDA-approved manufacturer of the drug, Hospira.
On April 29, an Oklahoma death row inmate given a lethal injection appeared to suffer for an extended period of time until finally dying of a heart attack.
One currently popular challenge to lethal injection is that it lacks safeguards to prevent cruel and unusual punishment as prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
One of the more recent cases in Missouri cited such a challenge to the implementation of Missouri's lethal injection guidelines.
But because he was convicted prior to that date Gardner retained the right under previous state laws to choose between lethal injection or firing squad as his method of execution.
Since New Hampshire laws specify a choice between lethal injection and hanging, those states that employ the former may serve as models.
Five of the 10 states with the most prisoners on death row began reviews of their lethal injection procedures in the past two years, which resulted in suspensions or delays in execution.