RESEARCH ARTICLE


Lethal Injection, Anesthesia, Medicine and Organ Donation - Ethical and Clinical Considerations Regarding the Pending Supreme Court Case: Baze vs Rees



Paul M. Kempen*
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh, 200 Lothrop St, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA


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Creative Commons License
Kempen et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh, 200 Lothrop St, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA; E-mail: kmpnpm@yahoo.com


Abstract

The recent deliberation by the United States Supreme Court regarding the use of lethal injection for executions has raised public awareness regarding the technique itself and any similarity with clinical anesthesia. This paper reviews the issues, with an emphasis in utilizing lay terms, to provide information and reference to professionals and lay persons interested in the subject of lethal injection. Anesthesiologists are most knowledgeable of the specific drugs involved in the process and may be called upon to provide information in this matter.

Keywords: Lethal injection, execution, medical ethics, ethics, anesthesia, organ transplantation, organ donation, end of life, physician assisted suicide.