Prescriptions for the drug midazolam rocketed during the height of the pandemic, with some claiming it has “turned end-of-life care into euthanasia”. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12100515/care-h
Midazolam reduces pain and anxiety and is considered one of the four essential drugs needed for dying patients.
If taken with pain killing opiates it can depress breathing, which is potentially fatal.
Healthcare professionals are advised to only co-prescribe if there is no alternative, according to NICE.
If necessary, the lowest possible doses should be given for the shortest duration.
In the USA, states can still use the sedative drug midazolam in lethal injections, according to today’s Supreme Court decision. But how exactly does the drug work, and why do some say that it’s unreliable?
In a 5-to-4 vote, the court ruled that using midazolam does not violate the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” In executions, the drug has been used to induce unconsciousness before other drugs are administered to stop an inmate’s breathing and stop the heart.
However, midazolam was involved in several botched executions last year, (2014), including the case of Clayton Lockett from Oklahoma, who lived for about 45 minutes after he was administered drugs for lethal injection, and was seen convulsing and writhing before dying of a heart attack. (It was later determined that the IV line used to deliver the drugs in Lockett’s execution was not properly placed.) https://www.livescience.com/51384-execution-drug-midazolam-effect.html