ANSWERS: 82
  • Hypodermic needles are sterilized during the manufacturing process, and thus shipped in a sterile package. When a physician procures new needles, including the physician who administers the lethal drugs of execution, the only needles he can get are sterile needles.
  • Well it's just basic ethics. Criminals they may be, but human beings they most certainly are. Why were they granted a final favour? A last meal?
  • One: Principle, two: Then the person dies of what comes from inside the syringe and not by any blood or diseases on the needle, thus making the killing as it's supposed to be and not a dragged out painful death that might result from an unsterilized needle. Not necessarily drag it out but affect them differently if it acts quicker than the injection should. Iknow it's a slim chance and I don't personally understand it fully myself but that is the rationalle behind it! Okay, rationally, it doesn't matter about the sterilization of the needle because they're gona die soon anyway but you will always find a few cranks saying "No! This isn't right." In this P.C. gone mad world the minority rules. So the rule or law is the one stated above, because looking at the nitty gritty detail of it; yeah maybe they are right-the person wouldn't die the way intended by the injection. However common sense says it doesn't matter if it's sterilized or not but in this day n' age common sense is thrown out of the window.
  • Needles are not sterilized, prior to a lethal injection. needles are packaged and sterilized at the point of manufacture.
  • Simple answer to this is that plant/factory making needles pre-sterilise their products before they are packaged. Why not then use the same needle over and over and save money? Unfortunately the person administering the needle may not agree if they were to get stuck and end up with some disease simply for doing their job. Other than that I agree with fact it is probably down to common moral grounds
  • should be because it kills all possible germs.. most of them get eliminated at more than 100 degrees centigrade if put for substantial amount of time.
  • The needles used are normal medical syringes as far as I know, and the same as are used in hospitals all over the world. Since the company that produces them has to produce them sterile for the vast majority of it's customers, the ones used for lethal injections wouldn't be any different.
  • I guess so the criminal doesnt get an infection. Postmortem infections are really hard to cure.
  • The needles used aren't made especially for lethal injections. They are standard IV needles that can be used on anyone, from a dehydrated prisoner in sickbay to the death row inmate on his last walk. They manufacturer has to make them all sterile.
  • because sometimes the execution is called of. So it is not sure that the person dies within the time needed to get a infection
  • Don't needles just come in those sterile packs anyway? If you used a needle over and over it would get blunt. You make it sound as though people are being lethally injected all day everyday like some sort of production line... surely the ammount of money it takes to use a new needle each time would not be much????
  • Needles are a very low part of the cost of a lethal injection. It really costs a very small amount to actually lethally inject someone. It wouldn't save very much to reuse needles, especially considering only a couple of people a year are put to death using Lethal Injection.
  • so the deathmate wont die from infections :P and justice served well xD (lol)
  • they are pre-packed! It is also to protect the medical staff handling them to from catching anything!
  • Less chance of something going wrong.
  • The guy has rights and he has to be treated as if he were just getting a needle. Has to be antiseptic :D
  • If it wasn't sterilized, there could be the possibility of someone interpreting it as cruel and unusual punishment, believe it or not. Also, it is a good idea, because the people administering the shot should probably take those precautions so that they are safe, in case anything bad should happen.
  • It's a sign of cleanliness. The families of the condemmed usually look for some sort of loop hole that would allow them to sue the state on the grounds that the execution was inhumane. I've heard of families attempting a lawsuit on the grounds that the needle was too painful. Apart from that, it could be said to be cruel and unusual.
  • I always wonder about that. The technician who sticks the needle uses alcohol to sterilize the area...like if they are concerned the condemned person may get an infection! I suppose they do it because it is something they always do when sticking needles. It is some kind of Standard Operating Procedure done without taking into consideration the specifics of the event.
  • The needles all come prepackaged in sterile plastic shrink-wrap. And it's more affordable to just get standard pre-sterilized hypodermics than to have special Non-sterile needles just for lethal injections.
  • The needles are mass produced for all medical needs and as such, during production all batches are sterilised. Then, the authorities (I'm guessing your Dept. of Justice?) purchase a batch from the company to use in their lethal injections. The compamny that produces the needles doesn't know which batch the DoJ will buy, just as Kleenex doesn't know which box of tissues you will buy or Cadbury's doesn't know exactly which bar of chocolate you will buy. So, it's much easier just to sterilise every single batch. It won't cost them any noticeable amount of money to sterilise those few batches and in fact probably works out cheaper than stopping the production line, removing a batch so stop it getting sterilised, reserving it for transport to the Death Row locations and so on.
  • Ha Ha good question, do they really do that?
  • This is a dupe. But, it's an OSHA Standard Precaution. Chances are, the family could sue for malpractice.
  • I dont know if they do or not but if so its probably just habbit for whoever is administering the injection. You should always sterilize a needle before using it because most of them arent used to kill people
  • I don't think they specifically sterilize it before they inject it. They just open up a medical needle which comes in a sealed packet and has been sterilized already. But I could be wrong.
  • because if it isnt sterilized then it is "inhumane" treatment and the people in this country who think that ruthless murderers and rapists should be allowed to roam the streets freely would be all over it and would get everyone taken off of death row because of it.
  • safety first :P nah seriously they dont want the convicted person to die because of tetanus or whatever infection they may get from unsteralize needles..
  • They have to follow accepted/proper medical protocol to avoid cruel and unusual punishment. Syringe and IV needles come sterilized, so I don't see a need to create a separate process of people creating, handling, packaging, etc unsterile needles. Apparently the prision system agrees. Also, safety is of utmost importance, because accidental pricks (usually of yourself) do happen.
  • To minimize the risk of infection in case the Governor calls at the last second to commute the sentence?
  • To stop being sued by the ACLU if the execution is called off and the poor criminal gets an infection.
  • It's against the Constitution, as if falls under cruel and unusual punishment.
  • a little thing called cruel and unusual punishment
  • because they're retarded
  • Because they follow The Rules, just like the guards at Auschwitz did.
  • Probably just protocol. I'v often wondered that myself.
  • Hm...to be humane about it perhaps?
  • Most needles come packaged hypodermically sealed and pre-sterilized. I'm not sure if you're referring to additional sterilization, but I can imagine that if they're using sterilized needles they probably get them from the same place that doctor's get them.
  • So he is healthy when you prick the prick the second time.
  • It could be considered as cruel and unusual punishment and could be sued because they were killed for a reason other than what they were supposed to die from. You may also want to check out this question for more answers. http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/38097
  • Because it's the law. If you are a doctor, or someone in the position of giving injections to others you're legally bound. Imagine what would happen if someone injecting condemned inmates were to be in the habit of NOT sterilizing needles. Then he gets to you and doesn't do it because it's habit. I'd rather have them sterilize the needle for everyone even if the needle in question is going to kill them.
  • It's habit
  • First of all, lethal injection is not performed by physicians (violates AMA code). Second, where are they gonna get the non-sterilized needles? grab it from random hospital patients? easier to find a sterilized needle than unsterilized.
  • You'll probably get a flag on this later. this is a clone question. by ChrisDG53 on Apr 12, 2007 at 3:11 pm Permalink
  • It's nuts! Along the same line of perturbed thinking, isn't it surprising that, in a society that claims to be so religious, they haven't considered training a animal, like a monkey for example, to push the button that causes the poisonous concoction to flow so they would be able to reject all feelings of guilt associated with killing another human being.
  • Well yeah, the needles do already come prepackaged, however whats to stop them from using the same needle as the person they injected last? It would save money? However, In a healthcare facility needlestick injuries are all too common. I would think that using a sterile needle would be for the person administering the drug. See if they just recapped the needle and put it in a draw for the next person that would create a hazard, because 1. you are not ever supposed to recap a used needle and 2. you are not sure what the diseases the previous victims may have had. So if you accidentally stick yourself with the used needle during administration or recapping you may be injecting yourself with whatever disease the patient may have had.
  • hahahahahahaha good question... i don't think they know what they are in for in the end!
  • Its more or less just for show.
  • I had this question as a dicussion from school. One person actually asked this question, and the teacher replied that it might be state law. It could also be the manufacturer that makes pre-packaged needles that are already sterilized.
  • So he doesn't get un infection!
  • LOL! Excellent question. Many needles come pre-sterilized, but as far as sterilizing them at the time of lethal injection... seems a little too much. :)
  • Ha whoa. You need to pass away cleanly.
  • because at the last minute, you changed your mind and want to live. but don't want to waste the pennies spent on the injection
  • I think they are pre-sterilized. I don't think they sterilized for the occasion. :P
  • "It's the "politically correct" thing to do.
  • They do???
  • they come that way.
  • OSHA safety standards.
  • Because needles are mass-produced, and are sterilised during the production process. While some of these needles are used for lethal injections, most are used for medicinal injections which need to be sterilised. It would be more effort NOT to sterilise them.
  • Because they want a clean death?
  • I think they stick the needles in minutes before the lethal stuff is injected and within that time the condemned person can still be saved by a phone call from the governor (I think).....what if he/she does get saved by a phone call but contracts a deadly germ from an unsterilized needle?
  • Even if they weren't already sterile, some moron or a bunch of morons would demand that it be done. People who have been sentenced to death for committing horrible crimes deserve the best we have to give them. Like, food, shelter, water, Cable T.V, porn, and anything else they want on our dime. After all we owe it to them don't we?
  • Because killing someone from an infected wound would be considered "cruel and unusual" punishment. (Even though the dude wouldn't live to find out if the needle was dirty, the law nontheless has to be upheld).
  • They don't sterilize the needle prior to injection. They all come that way from the manufacturer, in individually wrapped packages. They aren't special needles just for lethal injections, just standard everyday sterile needles
  • It's cheaper than the alternative. Sterilised needles is the norm and they are cheap. If you want a specialty product, it's always more expensive, like whole wheat bread is less processed than white, but costs more or at least no less.
  • Its probably just standard procedure. Maintain the cleanliness to preserve dignity.
  • good question. those are the kind that make you go hmmmmmm......
  • I think they should use old rusty ones!
  • needles are not sterilized at all before they are used. they are sterilized in the manufacturing process, before they are packaged. No one can tell where an individual needle will ever end up.
  • If there is a stay of execution - in which the govoner will either extend the prisoner's life, pardon them, or allows them to go on with aa life inprisonment sentence - they want to make sure the guy doesn't die from infection. These are rare cases - but it does happeh. Got to admit, if you were in for a crime you didn't commit, and they were poking you with needles, up until the very last second of consciousness, you'd want to hope that they sterilized the needles too.
  • I've never thought about that. Maybe because an infection would make them die sooner, and the prison cops are sort of sadistic so they want the prisoner to stay in pain longer (b/c he is always being punished by his guilt). I actually have no idea, though.
  • OK, think of this as to the idea of dieing........ Why did the comacozie pilot's of World War 2 wear helmets? Does this make any sense?
  • I would be pretty sure that the Authorities would just buy prepackaged needles from a medical supply house--one-time use, pre-sterilized. No big deal.
  • All needles are sterilized automatically as the millions of them come out of the factories. To unsterilize a needle would be like asking for a Big Mac without mayo. They'll do it but they won't like it, and if a lot of people asked for it they'd charge extra.
  • In Texas the life of a condemmed felon belongs to teh state and they don't want you to accidently die they want to kill you themselves
  • http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/543 Did this answer not come up as a similar question when you asked your question?
  • Because not sterilizing the needle would be inhumane.
  • To make sure the corps doesn't catch and infection that would kill the magots
  • Bureaucracy at its finest...
  • We want you healthy when you die. That way we are sure we did it.
  • Because someone smart enough to know they shouldn't be sterilized wouldn't participate in the death penalty.
  • In case they get a call last minute, proving the inmate innocent.
  • because many people idolize killers instead of the victims.

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