Tuesday, 8 January 2008

NEJM editorial on capital punishment by lethal injection

The NEJM reports that the US Supreme court is to rule whether death by lethal injection is unconstitutional because it is 'cruel and unusual'. The journal states that it is the policy the American ASA and AMA that physicians do not participate or advise in capital punishment. The standard three-drug regimen (thiopentone, pancuronium and potassium) has been shown previously to be unreliable in producing unconsciousness. A report from an execution in 2006 said the prisoner called out "It don't work". A video discussion is also available on the NEJM site from the link above.

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