Using pentobarbital in executions puts the inmates at undue risk of suffering, report says

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 13 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2440
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Procedures for putting animals to death in the US state of Texas are much stricter than those for executing humans, says a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Northwestern University School of Law.

Texas has switched to using pentobarbital instead of thiopental sodium as part of its lethal injection protocol, after supplies of thiopental ran out when the sole US manufacturer pulled out of the market.

But the switch has been done without any proper scientific analysis and despite concerns raised by anaesthesiologists, says the report. Lethal injection procedures on death row are in the hands of correction …

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