Missouri Lethal Injection Authority Defends His Method


Dr. Alan Doerhoff calls himself the “world’s authority on lethal injection.” The Associated Press says the 64-year-old Missouri surgeon estimates he’s presided over about 40 executions, and said he assisted Missouri, Arizona and the federal government modernize their execution procedures. He has been banned from participating in Missouri executions by a judge concerned about Doerhoff’s admission of dyslexia, which caused him to transpose numbers and make mistakes, though not “medically crucial” errors when mixing the lethal drugs.

His method delivers the lethal drugs via a central line: a large-bore trauma needle and catheter threaded through a thumb-size vein in the groin, neck or shoulder, and positioned near the heart. The drugs are plunged through the line from another room. The central line, used in hospitals, is foolproof, painless, and humane, while the more common peripheral intravenous line to the arm, is unreliable and risky, he said. “It’s negligent not to use a central line,” he said


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