April 28, 2007

April 24, 2007

Lethal Injections Humane or Not?

I am still undecided where I stand on the death penalty, however, I definitely think that if someone is going to be sentenced to death it should be quick and painless, without suffering. Lethal injection is supposed to be just that, right? Well.... maybe not in all cases or all of the time.

"In cases where the injection was botched and drugs were delivered into muscle or under the skin rather than into the veins, prisoners would be fully aware as the paralysis took hold and the potassium chloride was administered, said Teresa Zimmers, who led the study.
"It would sort of be the equivalent of slowly suffocating while being burned alive," Zimmers said.

That was likely the experience of Florida inmate Angel Diaz, who took 34 minutes to die in December after the needles were inserted improperly."

Theoretically people getting these injections shouldn't feel anything at all. They are given an anesthetic, thiopental, that is supposed to "render the inmate unconscious while the other drugs do the job." as well as potassium and pancuronium. However, sometimes they don't dose the anesthetic appropriately for the person's body size which could leave someone conscious when they should not be (according to the linked article above).
Now let me tell you a couple things about potassium: first of all it BURNS going in. Even in lower concentrations than I imagine they must use for lethal injection, patients will tell you it hurts... a lot. Second, the only time I have heard of potassium effectively stopping the heart 100% of the time is in the operating room where open heart surgeons fill the heart's circulation with a potassium solution in place of the patient's blood. Now, I am by no means an expert on such things, and I know people can and have died from getting IV potassium but, efficacy aside, if they feel the potassium going in, that doesn't exactly qualify as painless in my book.
The last drug, pancuronium bromide, is a paralytic. That means it paralyzes all of the muscles in your body. It doesn't render you unconscious but it will prevent you from moving and breathing. This isn't necessarily a problem when you are giving it to someone who is going to die anyway but... if you are awake when this drug is affecting you, you will be able to feel yourself slowly suffocating to death. So much for not suffering.

April 23, 2007

The most beautiful story....

is the story of life. Specifically a story of the miraculous life of a little boy. This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. I will remember this family in my prayers.

If you are prone to crying, better grab a box of tissues!

I also added this blog to my blogroll list. Thanks to Kris over at kris thinks... for spreading this little boy's message.

April 18, 2007

In The News....

High Court Upholds Ban On Some Abortions

A victory in the fight against destroying human life.

"The administration defended the law as drawing a bright line between abortion and infanticide. ...It was the first time the court banned a specific procedure in a case over how — not whether — to perform an abortion. "

Sadly enough, it is just a small step. Quoted from the same article:

"... an alternate method — dismembering the fetus in the uterus — is available and, indeed, much more common."

April 9, 2007

On Easter and Conversion

This Easter was the first time I have ever had an inkling of what Easter really means and hopefully the last one I will be unable to fully participate in. I hope to be enrolling in RCIA this year. I say hope because my husband is planning on transferring schools, which would mean a move for us in August and I have no idea when these things start. I tried to enroll in RCIA at the church we currently attend last November but it was too late in the year and they said to come back next summer. In the meantime I have been doing a little reading on my own ("Catholicism for Dummies" was very informational, especially regarding the whole church hierarchy and whatnot.) and plan on doing some more. I have always loved reading and it is perhaps unsurprising that this whole spiritual journey started with a book I read early last summer ("50 Questions on the Natural Law- What it is and Why We Need It"). It was a required summer reading for my husband's first year of law school. I don't know why I picked it up or why it interested me (heaven knows nothing else he has to read does), but somehow it did and when I read it, the book very subtly changed something in me. Somehow so many things I had wondered about all my life were explained in a perfectly logical and compelling way. It was the beginning of a journey out of darkness. The path is long and winding and sometimes I go so slowly it seems I am standing still, but something is changed in me and I feel I will never be the same again.