The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment, 2006
"anesthesia." The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment. Bruce E.R. Thompson. Ed. Mary Jo Poole. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. 21. U.S. History In Context. Web. 18 May 2013. In 1846 surgeons began using anesthesia in the forms of ether and chloroform to render patients unconscious prior to surgery. Almost immediately some people began advocating the use of anesthesia in executions as well. An essay to that effect written by G.W. Peck appeared in the American Whig Review in 1848. In that article, Peck argued that it was “against good manners” and “unbecoming to civilized Christian people” not to use anesthesia in executions now that science had made it available. This proposal appears never to have been adopted, although there was clearly a widespread desire at the time to make executions as humane as possible. It was not until the late twentieth century, with the adoption of lethal injection as a method of execution, that anesthesia came to be regularly used in executions. In an execution by lethal injection, the first drug administered is an anesthetic that causes unconsciousness. 2.
Ether Day: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men who made it Finley, James. "Ether Day: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men who made it. (Reviews)." American History 37.1 (2002): 74.US History Collection. Web. 18 May 2013. 3.
Anesthesia during the Civil War
"National Museum of Civil War Medicine." National Museum of Civil War Medicine. CIVILWARMED, 17 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 May 2013. Gaseous ether and chloroform were both widely available and there therapeutic impact was well known in Union and Confederate medical services. Major surgery was carried out using these anesthetics if they were available. It is estimated that greater than 90% of all major surgery was carried out with anesthetics. 4.
Anesthetics Youngson, A.J....
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