February 28, 2024

Is activists’ favourite suicide drug “torturous”?

Controversy over Oklahoma execution

It is unlikely to derail activists, but the
drug of choice for assisted suicide activists is being described as “untested,
[and] potentially dangerous, and could well result in a torturous execution” of
an Oklahoma man on death row. The state has run out of thiopental sodium, which
is used for lethal injections in the US. Hence it want to use pentobarbital –
also known as Nembutal – which is used for putting down animals. But John David
Duty’s lawyers claim that this could constitute cruel and unusual punishment. It
may not thoroughly anaesthetise prisoners and may cause them severe pain.  

This puts an interesting twist on
euthanasia rhetoric. “I wouldn’t let a dog suffer like that” is a familiar
argument for assisted suicide activists like Philip Nitschke, of Exit
International, or Ludwig Minelli, of Dignitas. So they offer their clients Nembutal.
Now, however, it turns out, Nembutal might make you suffer like the proverbial dog.
~ Wall
Street Journal, Nov 9

Michael Cook
assisted suicide
capital punishment