Skip to content
lethal injectionJoe Segen2016-12-24T22:12:56+00:00
Definition The injection of a person with a combination of agents to cause rapid death.
Reasons for performing lethal injection Usually for capital punishment, as performed on death row inmates in the USA; less commonly in other ethically charged situations–e.g., euthanasia and suicide.
Agents used for lethal injection
• Sedative—e.g., thiopental or pentobarbital, ultra-short acting barbiturates that put the person to sleep
• Paralysing agent–e.g., pancuronium bromide, a non-depolarising muscle relaxant that causes complete, rapid and sustained paralysis of skeletal/striated muscles, and
• Potassium chloride, which stops the heart.