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The Medical Aspect of Execution

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You are reading page 5 of The Medical Aspect of Execution. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Why do we need to execute people so they die comfortably and quietly? Maybe I am a horrible person, but did the victims that these people killed die comfortably and quietly? Why are we treating these prisoners with such dignity and respect even though they gave their victims no dignity or respect?

My proposal is that they are executed in the manner that their victims died.

Because there are still those dying during executions who are innocent of the crime to which they are accused. Not that it even happens often.

Maybe 15 years is given to make sure the prisoner is not innocent.

Sorry always have been the devils advocate.

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I would gladly volunteer to start an IV that I know will be used for lethal injection. Over the years I have watched news reports as the prisoner awaits his or her fate just waiting for the announcement that it was delayed because they could not gain IV access.I always thought that I would have no problem starting an IV for that purpose.

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I'll say this much. Whoever or whomever is your other half or spouse etc, they had better walk on eggshells around you lot. I think I will be looking at my fellow nurses differently from now on especially those of a certain geographical location. I thought we should be afraid of the criminals but thanks for the wake up call. It's given me a much better understanding of why things happen to certain types of people. You just never know your colleagues could actually harbour such proclivities.
Don't confuse brainstorming and problem solving with endorsement. Personally, I'm very conflicted about capital punishment. I just don't see that the task is as difficult to perform as is being made out.

If one wants to oppose it on moral, ethical, or religious grounds, so be it. However, to claim that it can't be done with minimal physical pain or suffering is simply false.

And...

Whoever or whomever is your other half or spouse etc, they had better walk on eggshells around you lot.
Really?

You're conflating support for capital punishment with domestic violence?

Really?

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For ethical reasons I refuse to participate in the discussion on which specific method of carrying out the death penalty would be the quickest, most "efficient" or "humane". I'm simply not prepared to sit here and have a clinical discussion about the "preferred" method. As a nurse anesthetist I could offer suggestions of "pain-free" methods, but even successfully utilizing such a method wouldn't make executions humane. It's the entire concept of the state deciding to kill a person in retaliation for crimes committed that I object to. The cruelty of such a decision isn't only present in the moment when the sentence is about to be carried out. The greater cruelty is in the time leading up to the execution date. The knowledge that one is about to be murdered next Tuesday or next April or whatever, is mental torture.

There are many reasons to object to capital punishments. One I've already mentioned. What makes us as a society any better than the violent offender when we decide to mete out punishment in the form of murder? We lose the moral high ground when we do that. There are other reasons to oppose capital punishment/state-sanctioned murder. All the criminological research that I've ever laid eyes on shows it's an ineffective deterrent. The only remaining justification in support for capital punishment would be vengeance/tit-for-tat, which I believe sullies us all. Nietzsche's abyss and all that... Also, capital punishment is the only punishment that can't be corrected/compensated if new evidence comes to light showing that the executed individual was wrongfully convicted. That, as I'm sure you all are aware, has happened. And you can't "unkill" the executed person.

I haven't read through all the comments but I'm a big proponent for bringing back "Old Sparky". Far too much effort is wasted on being humane in this situation.

How can any effort spent on being humane ever be considered wasted? Should we only grant our fellow man humaneness on conditional/selective basis? What does that make us?

I believe these felons should feel every bit of terror, fear and uncertainty that was felt by their victims in the moments leading up to their deaths.

Why? What purpose does this serve in your mind? I'll be frank with you. This kind of bloodlust scares me.

To describe a really heinous crime, lets say we have a violent criminal who has held a person captive for a longer period of time, brutally raped and finally murdered that person. You suggest society should do the same to that criminal? Who do you think should have as a job to rape, torture and kill the criminal? Could you find a decent person who would accept this as part of his/her job description? Do a little 9-5, M-F rape/assault/murder and go home and have dinner with the wife/husband and kids afterwards? Or should society/the state simply hire a couple of sociopathic murderers to carry out "sentences" on its behalf? (This would in my opinion not only be looking into the aforementioned abyss, it would be enthusiastically embracing it).

Listen, I belive most of us can relate to experiencing feelings of rage we when we read/hear about, or worse come in close contact with extremely brutal criminals/crimes and experience the unimaginable grief and pain they can afflict on other human beings. But how on earth can more brutal violence ever be the antidote?

I wholeheartedly agree with the point that Avid reader made regarding the countries which uses the death penalty. The practice of capital punishment makes the U.S. culturally more similar to China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Somalia than it is to Canada, Denmark, France or Germany. I think that's strange as I for the most part consider the former both repressive and oppressive and quite frankly not very twenty-first century when it comes to defending and protecting human rights. To me there is an element of dissonance. The U.S. is a modern country in many other aspects, but on the matter of the death penalty you are more aligned with autocratic, undemocratic, backwards regimes.

@Emergent, if you consider U.S. prisons "cushy" I'm willing to bet that you've never seen the inside of a Scandinavian prison :)

Anders Breivik: Just how cushy are Norwegian prisons? - BBC News

I personally believe that a prison sentence should be loss of liberty, no more no less. (Serious crimes in my opinion = long prison sentences up to and including life when warranted, but it should still just be loss of liberty).

If society's end goal is to rehabilitate the prisoner and hopefully turn him/her into a productive member of society, it's a smarter investment to see to that the prisoner rejoins the outside world with the means to work/financially support him/herself and not filled with anger/resentment/ bitterness/hatred and a sense of not belonging in society. If you look at criminological research the trend is that humane prisons with real attempts at rehabilitation = lower recidivism rates. So even if an individual person isn't a big fan of being "cushy" towards criminals, they can at least take comfort from the fact that societally, it's the smart thing to do.

Edited by macawake

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Why couldn't the prison PTB consult with a pharmacist, anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, critical care MD, or Hospice provider? Now you've got me thinking more and more about this...Looking forward to more input here.

I have to say this sentence which included asking hospice providers about a better way to execute people stuck in my craw.

As a hospice nurse, we have to fight the myth that hospice swoops in and kills the terminally ill all the time. I've had people (families and/or the patient) say "You kill people with morphine so I don't want hospice".

Asking a hospice provider about how to kill someone is simply wrong-headed thinking. We don't kill people.

Mini-rant over.

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True. And we could just stuff more and more murderers into overcrowded prisons and give them great healthcare and education and entertainment for the rest of their miserable lives.

Nah. I'd rather not. Just sayin' :)

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but food, healthcare, "entertainment" in correctional facilities is far from "great". And education is non-existent. Let's keep the discussion fact-based, shall we?

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I have to say this sentence which included asking hospice providers about a better way to execute people stuck in my craw.

As a hospice nurse, we have to fight the myth that hospice swoops in and kills the terminally ill all the time. I've had people (families and/or the patient) say "You kill people with morphine so I don't want hospice".

Asking a hospice provider about how to kill someone is simply wrong-headed thinking. We don't kill people.

Mini-rant over.

I hope that asking a nurse anesthetist how to kill someone stuck in your craw as well. Killing people who very much want to stay alive is something I try very hard to avoid each and every shift. I'm sure that the same can be said for pharmacists, anesthesiologists and intensivists too :)

I'm sure that Boomer only meant that both of us are used to handling/ administering some of the medications that have been misused (executions) for other than their intended purpose. I don't think that she meant to imply that either of us kill people on a regular basis.

(As is likely evident by my previous posts I don't think that any healthcare professional should be aiding and abetting/facilitating Iranian-style "justice").

Edited by macawake

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I hope that asking a nurse anesthetist how to kill someone stuck in your craw as well. Killing people who very much want to stay alive is something I try very hard to avoid each and every shift. I'm sure that the same can be said for pharmacists, anesthesiologists and intensivists too :)

Of course!

We as a hospice team just had to deal with a situation where a family didn't want a patient properly medicated for pain due to fear that we were going to kill the patient. So, it went straight to my own hospice heart! :inlove:

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I don't necessarily disagree with you, but food, healthcare, "entertainment" in correctional facilities is far from "great". And education is non-existent. Let's keep the discussion fact-based, shall we?

Absolutely, let's keep it fact-based, which is why I stated FACT. I can't manage a copy paste of URLs from my phone it seems, but you are way off base on this. Yes it really IS fact-based to say that prison inmates can receive a very nice education. Starting with high school and getting GED right through college degrees. We are all paying for that when it is in a federal prison and state taxes for local ones.

You might scoff at the entertainment offered, but when I see people who have committed horrible crimes, concerns about death row inmates who are on death row for decades I look to things like movie nights, cable TV and internet access as luxuries.

Can't do the copy paste for you because of the phone, but it is extremely easy to find this via Google. Take a look. Maybe you too might find it to be a little excessive after you have done so?

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Absolutely, let's keep it fact-based, which is why I stated FACT. I can't manage a copy paste of URLs from my phone it seems, but you are way off base on this. Yes it really IS fact-based to say that prison inmates can receive a very nice education. Starting with high school and getting GED right through college degrees. We are all paying for that when it is in a federal prison and state taxes for local ones.

You might scoff at the entertainment offered, but when I see people who have committed horrible crimes, concerns about death row inmates who are on death row for decades I look to things like movie nights, cable TV and internet access as luxuries.

Can't do the copy paste for you because of the phone, but it is extremely easy to find this via Google. Take a look. Maybe you too might find it to be a little excessive after you have done so?

Here's another interesting FACT. Almost every judgemental person has much repressed anger and frustration which is why you will notice the quick fuse, car rage, abrubt interactions, quick speech patterns, absence of fact based research responses, lack of empathy or sympathy, minimal efforts re reading and frequently trivial subject matters, selective friends with similar personality, gossiping and generally always seething.

If only four apply, then anger issues with pathology implied.

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Absolutely, let's keep it fact-based, which is why I stated FACT. I can't manage a copy paste of URLs from my phone it seems, but you are way off base on this. Yes it really IS fact-based to say that prison inmates can receive a very nice education. Starting with high school and getting GED right through college degrees. We are all paying for that when it is in a federal prison and state taxes for local ones.

You might scoff at the entertainment offered, but when I see people who have committed horrible crimes, concerns about death row inmates who are on death row for decades I look to things like movie nights, cable TV and internet access as luxuries.

Can't do the copy paste for you because of the phone, but it is extremely easy to find this via Google. Take a look. Maybe you too might find it to be a little excessive after you have done so?

Don't have to - have worked corrections in two states.

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For ethical reasons I refuse to participate in the discussion on which specific method of carrying out the death penalty would be the quickest, most "efficient" or "humane". I'm simply not prepared to sit here and have a clinical discussion about the "preferred" method. As a nurse anesthetist I could offer suggestions of "pain-free" methods, but even successfully utilizing such a method wouldn't make executions humane. It's the entire concept of the state deciding to kill a person in retaliation for crimes committed that I object to. The cruelty of such a decision isn't only present in the moment when the sentence is about to be carried out. The greater cruelty is in the time leading up to the execution date. The knowledge that one is about to be murdered next Tuesday or next April or whatever, is mental torture.

There are many reasons to object to capital punishments. One I've already mentioned. What makes us as a society any better than the violent offender when we decide to mete out punishment in the form of murder? We lose the moral high ground when we do that. There are other reasons to oppose capital punishment/state-sanctioned murder. All the criminological research that I've ever laid eyes on shows it's an ineffective deterrent. The only remaining justification in support for capital punishment would be vengeance/tit-for-tat, which I believe sullies us all. Nietzsche's abyss and all that... Also, capital punishment is the only punishment that can't be corrected/compensated if new evidence comes to light showing that the executed individual was wrongfully convicted. That, as I'm sure you all are aware, has happened. And you can't "unkill" the executed person.

How can any effort spent on being humane ever be considered wasted? Should we only grant our fellow man humaneness on conditional/selective basis? What does that make us?

Why? What purpose does this serve in your mind? I'll be frank with you. This kind of bloodlust scares me.

To describe a really heinous crime, lets say we have a violent criminal who has held a person captive for a longer period of time, brutally raped and finally murdered that person. You suggest society should do the same to that criminal? Who do you think should have as a job to rape, torture and kill the criminal? Could you find a decent person who would accept this as part of his/her job description? Do a little 9-5, M-F rape/assault/murder and go home and have dinner with the wife/husband and kids afterwards? Or should society/the state simply hire a couple of sociopathic murderers to carry out "sentences" on its behalf? (This would in my opinion not only be looking into the aforementioned abyss, it would be enthusiastically embracing it).

Listen, I belive most of us can relate to experiencing feelings of rage we when we read/hear about, or worse come in close contact with extremely brutal criminals/crimes and experience the unimaginable grief and pain they can afflict on other human beings. But how on earth can more brutal violence ever be the antidote?

I wholeheartedly agree with the point that Avid reader made regarding the countries which uses the death penalty. The practice of capital punishment makes the U.S. culturally more similar to China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Somalia than it is to Canada, Denmark, France or Germany. I think that's strange as I for the most part consider the former both repressive and oppressive and quite frankly not very twenty-first century when it comes to defending and protecting human rights. To me there is an element of dissonance. The U.S. is a modern country in many other aspects, but on the matter of the death penalty you are more aligned with autocratic, undemocratic, backwards regimes.

@Emergent, if you consider U.S. prisons "cushy" I'm willing to bet that you've never seen the inside of a Scandinavian prison :)

Anders Breivik: Just how cushy are Norwegian prisons? - BBC News

I personally believe that a prison sentence should be loss of liberty, no more no less. (Serious crimes in my opinion = long prison sentences up to and including life when warranted, but it should still just be loss of liberty).

If society's end goal is to rehabilitate the prisoner and hopefully turn him/her into a productive member of society, it's a smarter investment to see to that the prisoner rejoins the outside world with the means to work/financially support him/herself and not filled with anger/resentment/ bitterness/hatred and a sense of not belonging in society. If you look at criminological research the trend is that humane prisons with real attempts at rehabilitation = lower recidivism rates. So even if an individual person isn't a big fan of being "cushy" towards criminals, they can at least take comfort from the fact that societally, it's the smart thing to do.

As Macawake says. I actually worked for three months at a Forensic Hospital in England called Broadmoor. I did not find a single prisoner or patient that wasn't severely compromised emotionally or psychologically. They were able to validate their actions however irrationally they appeared. They were compromised!!

Do you kill Van Gogh because he's psychotic or Toulouse Lautrec because he was short and deformed. Just as compromised are killers or criminals with their illnesses. I believe they should be rehabilitated but it's an inherent trait of America to seek revenge and retribution but mostly it's to profit. Just as a mistreated animal becomes vicious so to does human beings, except with far more intelligence and çruelty.

The criminal justice system in this country is about profit margins and not remotely about justice. They deliberately create monsters when incarcerated and then forever brand them so they can never be acceptable in society again, thereby forcing them to commit further crimes for an ongoing profit scheme. Almost every prosecutor will have personality disorders of some sort.

It's the way we treat the helpless and compromised that is a true reflection of ourselves!

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