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The State of Oklahoma has decided in future to use the inert gas nitrogen for judicial executions of condemned prisoners. It has not yet done so (09/2018).
The Attorney-General commissioned an inquiry into the effectiveness of nitrogen from three academics at East Central University. In a report covering 300 pages sent to the Oklahamo Department of Corrections the academics found that nitrogen would be an effective alternative
for capital punishment.
To my disappointment, the study partially leaned on my book ‘Final Exit’ –a purpose for which it was definitely not intended. I have always been opposed to capital punishment for two main reasons: (1) it is not a deterrent; and (2) in some cases persons executed were later found to be innocent.
“Final Exit’ has been in constant publication since l991 in English, been translated into twelve major languages, and is in most libraries.
As this report “Nitrogen Induced Hypoxia as a Form of Capital Punishment” is about to made public in the media, here is what it says about its use In self-deliverance by the advanced terminally ill:


Quote on pages 149-150 from the 300 page report

Perhaps one of the greatest testaments to both the humanity of nitrogen induced hypoxia as well as the ease of administration is its rapidly gaining popularity as a self-selected means of suicide. Suicide by hypoxia using an inert gas is the most widely promoted

method of human
euthanasia by right-to-die advocates (Howard, M.O. et. a!., 20 1 1, P. 6 1).

The trend toward using an “exit bag” filled with an inert gas such as nitrogen or helium likely started with a publication of Final Exit: The Practicalities of Se(f’Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying. The author of the publication sought to identify methods of death that were swift, simple, painless, failure-proof, inexpensive, non-disfiguring and did not require a physician’s assistance or prescription (Howard, M.O. et. a!., 201 1. p 6 1).

This method of suicide is indeed simple. It involves a clear plastic bag fitted over the head, two tanks filling the bag with helium via vinyl tubing, and an elastic band at the bottom of the bag to prevent the bag from slipping off the head. The parts needed to create the bag are inexpensive and available locally without prescription (Howard, M.O. et. a!., 20 1 1. p 6 1-62).

Reports of deaths observed via this method suggest that it is painless. Jim Chastain, Ph.D. , President of the Final Exit Network of Florida, described the process this way: In the several events I have observed the person breathes the odorless, tasteless helium deeply about three or four times and then is unconscious. no gagging or gasping. Death follows in 4-5 minutes. A peaceful process.

Derek Humphry , current chair of the Final Exit Network advisory board, is quoted as saying: In the approximate 300 cases which have been reported to me there has never been mention of choking or gagging. When I witnessed the helium death of a friend of mine it could not have been more peaceful (Final Exit, 2010).

However, it should be noted that deviations from the above protocols have not always been as successful. When masks were placed over the face (instead of using bags of helium over Nitrogen Induced Hypoxia the head) it has been reported some problems have occurred. This is typically a result of the mask not sealing tightly to the face, resulting in a small amount of oxygen being inhaled by the individual. This extends the time to become unconscious and extends the time to death. This may result in purposeless movements by the decedent (Ogden et a!, 2010. p 174- 179).

P.S. This report cannot be found on the internet, yet anyway. It was leaked to me.

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