Update July 25, 2014
Less than two days ago, the state of Arizona executed Joseph Wood by lethal injection, with an experimental combination of drugs prepared by pharmacists. Witnesses were horrified by the 660 gasps of air Mr. Wood took during the almost two hours it took for him to die during this botched execution. Thousands of you have already spoken up: It's time to stop botched executions and ban all pharmacists from providing the drugs to allow this horrific practice to continue.
In January, the state of Ohio executed a man using a method that witnesses say was one of the most cruel and unusual in recent history. Dennis McGuire suffered for 24 long minutes before finally passing away -- Ohio took his life using a controversial, untested lethal injection protocol to take his life.
With a number of medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies all refusing to participate in executions, a small group of "compound pharmacists" are manufacturing and supplying lethal injection cocktails used to kill people like Dennis McGuire and allow for death penalty states to continue to execute.
If the American Pharmacists Association would ban their members from participating in executions, the Association could help put a stop to the manufacturing and supplying of drugs used for lethal injections and help end the use of the death penalty in the US once and for all.
Tell the American Pharmacists Association: Ban your members from participating in executions now.
Electric chairs, gas chambers, hangings, and firing squads have been banned by almost all states, leaving lethal injection as the only method of carrying out executions. But lethal injection by its very nature requires medical professionals to be involved. More recently, all major pharmaceutical companies have banned their drugs from being used.
So states have been been forced to turn to so-called “compounding pharmacists” -- who are not regulated by the FDA -- to develop cocktails like the one used to kill McGuire.
Ahead of the American Pharmacists Association’s annual meeting this spring, let's tell pharmacists in the US to do something that they should have done decades ago: ban pharmacists from executions and effectively end capital punishment in most states.
American Pharmacists Association: Ban your members from participating in executions.
McGuire was injected with a lethal cocktail that a federal judge conceded ahead of time was an "experiment in lethal injection processes". As his adult children sobbed a few feet away in a witness room, McGuire suffered for 24 long minutes -- calling out to his children and struggling loudly for air. It was one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999.
Without medical professionals, it would be impossible for states to produce lethal injection cocktails. Pharmacists, a profession that is meant to help and save people, are participating in these killings for a few extra dollars. Let’s call on pharmacists to ban their profession from participating in capital punishment.
Call on pharmacists to take a stand against any involvement in capital punishment.
Joseph Wood: Arizona murderer dies almost two hours after execution begins, The Guardian, 24 July 2014
Ohio executes inmate using untried, untested lethal injection method, The Guardian, 16 January 2014