New execution protocol similar to doctor-assisted suicide recommended

New York Post

Lindsey Bever

Days after the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett, a bipartisan committee studying the death penalty has recommended a new one-drug lethal injection method to kill quickly and “minimize the risk of pain or suffering.”

The committee, formed by the Constitution Project long before the Lockett execution, urged states to administer an overdose of one anesthetic or barbiturate to cause death – the same method used in doctor-assisted suicides. (To read the report, click here.)

This method would replace a three-drug lethal injection protocol currently used by most states that employ the death penalty. . . [Full text]

One thought on “New execution protocol similar to doctor-assisted suicide recommended

  1. The New York Post article did not include reference to Recommendation 39 in the report: “Jurisdictions should ensure that qualified medical personnel are present at executions and responsible for all medically-related elements of executions.”

    Execution team members who are responsible for medically-related functions, like preparing
    drugs and syringes, setting IVs, administering drugs, assessing the medical state of the inmate and declaring the time of death should have the appropriate medical training and expertise that allows them to properly perform these functions. Such training and expertise should, at a minimum, require that team members are licensed, practicing doctors, nurses or emergency medical technicians who are responsible for performing functions in their day-to-day practice that are similar to those they will perform at the execution.

    However, the report acknowledged ethical opposition by professional medical organizations to physician participation in executions. “Doctors and other medical professionals should not be compelled to violate medical ethics. The result may be that medical professionals will not be able to be present for executions and therefore a state may not be able to complete an execution while adhering to these recommendations.”

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