Hidden Suffering: Problems With the United States’ Use of Lethal Injection

Hidden Suffering: Problems With the United States’ Use of Lethal Injection

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Imagine yourself in a vacuum sealed room bound to a gurney by thick leather straps, rendering you captive. In both arms, the executioner positions intravenous catheters connected to tubes that run from you into a wall embedded with a one way window. Hidden behind that window are the syringes containing the serums that will shortly be injected into the saline solution now running through your body, ending the last few minutes of your life. A curtain in front of you is then raised, revealing a crowd of about 20 people quietly sitting in on your execution; these people are family from both sides of your trial as well as selected individuals from the media.
The executioner asks you for your last words and then continues with the fatal process of the execution. A sodium thiopental, an anesthetic, is given to you to render you unconscious in order to void the pain of your death. Due to the inappropriate dose of anesthetic injected, you are not completely under at this point, but so disoriented that you cannot feel pain but are somewhat conscious of what is happening around you. Only assuming that you are unconscious, the executioner administers a muscle relaxant called pancuronium bromide, meant to paralyze your entire body. Now more aware of what’s happening, you feel discomfort spreading with every heartbeat from the injection site. Soon, your futile dose of sodium thiopental is worn off, with the paralyzing agent in full effect. Your veins literally feel like they have been injected with molten lava and this feeling has spread throughout every blood vessel in your entire body. Your diaphragm, along with every other muscle in your body, is paralyzed, making that breath you just took, your last. The lids of your eyes are stuck shut d...


... middle of paper ...


...nishment which is readily available with modern resources.




Works Cited
Lesniak, Raymond. “Justice is Not Served With the Death Penalty”. The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. Eds. Jenny Cromie and Lynn M. Zott. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. (26-33). Print.
Harrison, Karen and Caroline Melville. “The Death Penalty by Lethal Injection and Hill v. McDonough: Is the USA Starting to See Sense?” 167-180. Ebsco. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. Hughes, Jason D. “The Tri-Chemical Cocktail: Serene Brutality.” NO JOURNAL… 540-541. Ebsco. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
New England Journal of Medicine. “““Perspective Roundtable””: Physicians and Exection.” NO JOURNAL… 1, 3, 5. Ebsco. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
Zivot, Joel B. “The Amsence of Cruelty is Not the Presence of Humanness: Physicians and the Death Penalty in the United States.” NO JOURNAL… 1. Ebsco. 20 Oct. 2013.

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