Within the death penalty debate, there is an allegation that veterinarians are prohibited from using pancuronium bromide or Pavulon, the relaxant agent used in human lethal injection, because it may cause and/or mask pain to the animals, within the euthanasia process.
It is also stated that vets are prohibited from using potassium chloride, the heart stooping drug, used thirdly, in the three drug human lethal injection protocol.
In turn, this is used as a new anti death penalty sound bite - "It is too cruel for animals, but we use it on people."
First, the The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommendations of 2000 (1) , inadvertently, support the human lethal injection protocol -- the opposite of what the detractors have been claiming.
AVMA: "When used alone, these drugs (paralytics) all cause respiratory arrest before loss of consciousness, so the animal may perceive pain and distress after it is immobilized." (2)
Obviously, no state, which practices human lethal injection, uses a paralytic without an anaesthetic -- EVER. The anesthesia is always used first.
These absurd claims, falsely attributed to veterinary literature, have been a bald faced lie by anti death penalty activists.
To claim that paralytics are condemned in veterinary euthanasia, without mentioning the specific context, is an intentional deception. (The AVMA does not mention the specific paralytic used in lethal injection for humans).
Secondly, if properly anesthetized, as in human lethal injection, there would be no pain experienced when using Pavulon. That is also well known.
Thirdly, the AVMA, similarly, prohibits the use of potassium chloride, "WHEN USED ALONE". (3) (my capitalization for emphasis).
Of course, human lethal injection uses the two previously mentioned drugs, prior to injection of the potassium chloride. This is well known, as well, thereby revealing more deceptions by the anti death penalty cabal.
Fourth,, the AVMA, specifically, cautions (4):"1. The guidelines in this report are in no way intended to be used for human lethal injection.2. The application of a barbiturate, paralyzing agent, and potassium chloride delivered in separate syringes or stages (the common method used for human lethal injection) is not cited in the report.3.
The report never mentions pancuronium bromide or Pavulon, the paralyzing agent used in human lethal injection."
Obviously, the AVMA is saying DON'T use our report to draw any inferences with regard to the human lethal injection protocol. Of course, death penalty opponents decided to ignore that responsible request.The AVMA continues:
"Before referring to the 2000 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia, please contact the AVMA to ensure the association's position is stated correctly. Please contact Michael San Filippo, media relations assistant at the AVMA, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell) or msanfilippo(at)avma.org for more information or to set up an interview with a veterinary expert." (4)
Death penalty opponents ignored that request, as well.
Based upon this literature, it is clear that this veterinary nonsense was another anti death penalty fraud, which, sadly and often, escaped media fact checking, but not media repetition.
The AVMA approves of "potassium chloride in conjunction with prior general anesthesia" (5) for animals -- this is the drug protocol used within most lethal injection protocols, with the exception of the paralytic used in between.
This actually shows support for the human lethal injection protocol, however unintended.
First, this two drug protocol is approved by AVMA, for animals.
Secondly, a disadvantage listed by AVMA for potassium chloride is "clonic spams" (6) -- rapid and violent jerking of muscles soon after injection of the potassium. The paralytic drug, used second, within the human lethal injection protocol, helps to reduce, or eliminate, this effect.
In other words, a review of the AVMA literature finds much support, however inadvertent,
for the human lethal injection protocol and nothing that conflicts with or condemns it. Hopefully, this newest, blatant distortion by the anti death penalty crowd will soon fade.
Veterinary use of sodium pentobarbital
"Pentobarbital is a barbiturate that is available as both a free acid and a sodium salt, the former of which is only slightly soluble in water and ethanol." (7) (NOTE -- I don't believe this is used for human lethal injection).
In veterinary medicine sodium pentobarbital--traded under names such as Sagatal--is used as an
anaesthetic.UBC Committee on Animal Care (2005). Euthanasia. SOP 009E1 - euthanasia - overdose with pentobarbital. The University of British Columbia. URL accessed on 4 October, 2005. Pentobarbital is an ingredient in Equithesin." (7)
It is used by itself, or more often in combination with complementary agents such as phenytoin, in commercial animal euthanasia (2003).
ANESTHESIA AND ANALGESIA. Animal Use Protocols. University of Virginia. URL accessed on 4 October, 2005. injectable solutions. Trade names include Euthasol, Euthatal, Beuthanasia-D and Fatal Plus. "(7)
NOTE ON FOOTNOTES:
The AVMA has re-written parts of the referenced articles (footnotes 1-6, below).
Now located at https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf
Please note their CAUTION, just below the title page, mirroirs my complaints, herein, against the anti death penalty folks,
I haven't redone my footnotes to match up with the changes. Why bother. The anti death penalty folks and the non fact checkers in the media haven't cared about reality for those 7 years.
Why would they start, now?
1) www(dot)avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf Appendix 1, page 693
2) www(dot)avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf Appendix 4, page 696
3) www(dot)avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf Page 681
4) www(dot)avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf Cover Page
5) www(dot)avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf Page 680
6) www(dot)avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf Page 681
copyright 2005-2012 Dudley Sharp