Friday, January 17, 2014
Ohio finds an alternative lethal injection drug
Meet Dennis McGuire. He was found guilty of the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed, Joy Stewart. In Ohio, the company that supplies the potassium chloride, or whatever drug they used for lethal injections, declined to allow Ohio to use it for that purpose.
Undeterred, Ohio decided on a cocktail of heavy sedatives and pain killers instead. Apparently this particular combination causes immense terror and agony known medically as "air hunger" as the condemned gasps for air. Who cares? Not me.
I anesthetized rats for experiments in the early days of my career in science. We used similarly lethal doses of sedatives too, and in my experience, the rats, or Mr. McGuire in this case, would have been so deeply anesthetized that any gasps or sounds would have been totally reflexive and not conscious reactions to pain or agony. The rats' diaphragms would heave involuntarily as they entered respiratory arrest and their hearts would stop beating a few minutes later, but at no time were they conscious for or aware of any of it.
Besides, his temporary discomfort was nothing compared to Joy Stewart being raped and stabbed, knowing that her baby was dying also. I don't give a damn about this guy or how uncomfortably he went to hell.