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October 26, 2009

Ohio having a hard time finding doctors to help with revising execution protocol

My local paper has this new piece, headlined "Ohio struggles to find doctors to offer execution advice," which reports on the challanges the state is facing in getting expert medical help with its review of its lethal injection protocol. Here is how the piece starts:

Finding medical professionals willing to advise Ohio on the best way to put condemned inmates to death is proving difficult because of ethical and professional rules, the state's top attorney said.  The rules -- which generally prohibit doctors, nurses and others from involvement in capital punishment -- are deterring those professionals from speaking publicly or privately about alternatives to the state's lethal injection process, Attorney General Richard Cordray said.

"A small number of promising leads have emerged, but identifying qualified medical personnel willing and able to provide advice to the state regarding lethal injection options continues to be challenging and time-consuming," Cordray said in the Friday filing in U.S. District Court.

Executions are on hold in Ohio while the state develops new injection policies following a Sept. 15 execution that was stopped because the inmate had no usable veins.  The state has reached out to judges, police and lawmakers for help trying to find medical professionals willing to talk to the state, according to the filing written on Cordray's behalf by Charles Wille, head of Cordray's death penalty unit. Cordray also said five lawmakers he didn't identify have agreed to try to find medical staff to help.

The state has a two-year, $33,200 contract with just one doctor, Mark Dershwitz of Massachusetts, a lethal injection expert who frequently testifies on behalf of states in lethal injection cases. Dershwitz, an expert witness for Ohio at a March trial challenging Ohio's injection system, is the only doctor the state is currently talking to, said Julie Walburn, a prisons department spokeswoman.

Paging Dr. Jack Kevorkian ..., Doctor, it seems that you are needed in Ohio. 

October 26, 2009 at 01:32 PM | Permalink


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Since you are local, perhaps you could help them out yourself, Doc?

Posted by: Bugs | Oct 26, 2009 2:15:39 PM

Prof. Berman: Here is a simple, idiot proof method of dispatching a condemned prisoner.

Put 10 Fentanyl patches on the prisoner, and apply a heating pad to each.


At the same time, apply 10 clonidine patches and heating pads to sedate and to drop blood pressure.


There will nothing to look at, just a person falling asleep. The prisoner may enjoy the opiate effect while still conscious.

You do not need a doctor, just a search engine and 2 minutes of time to spare. The government, a wholly owned subsidiary of the criminal cult enterprise, does nothing well. Or else they are making a huge production out of a simple problem. Perhaps, they are trying to avoid carrying out the law and do not want the death penalty to end their cushy government make work jobs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 26, 2009 9:26:29 PM

There is no ethical prohibition against medical personel participating in executions.

There is only a personal bias, against the death penalty, which has been, unethically, turned into a medical prohibition.

Physicians & The State Execution of Murderers: No Ethical/Medical Dilemma


Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Oct 27, 2009 9:38:18 AM

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