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Drugs Used For Lethal injections

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    Posted: 26 Aug 2009 at 10:57pm
Drugs Used For Lethal injections

Along with pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, thiopental is used in 35 states of the U.S. to execute prisoners by lethal injection.

A very large dose is given which places the subject into a rapidly induced coma. Executions using the three drug combination are usually effective in approximately 10 minutes, but have been known to take several times this length. The use of thiopental alone is hypothesized to cause death in approximately 45 minutes. The use of sodium thiopental has been the cause of current Supreme Court challenges to the lethal injection protocol, after a study in the medical journal the Lancet, where autopsy studies on executed inmates revealed that there was not a high enough concentration of thiopental in their blood to have caused unconsciousness. The exclusion of physicians participating in executions is partly to blame for inept administration of the drugs.


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