Last week I received an urgent email from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. In the letter, they warn about the possibility of an acute shortage of propofol in the United States due to the actions of one small state in the country. To be specific, the Missouri Department of Corrections was planning on performing two executions on convicted criminals in the coming weeks using propofol as their drug of choice.
Apparently this has set off a worldwide controversy. The European Union has laws prohibiting the export of products that could be used for capital punishment. Unfortunately for us, nearly 90% of all the propofol used here are manufactured by the German company Fresenius Kabi. Fresenius had delivered the propofol to the American distributor Morris & Dickson which then supplied the drug to Missouri. The EU has demanded that the propofol be returned to Morris & Dickson or they would cut off the export of propofol, thereby depriving us of this essential anesthetic, patient necessity be damned.
Did Missouri stand up for its right to treat its hard core criminals as their laws and juries see fit? Sadly, no. The state government knuckled under the demands of the EU and has returned the propofol back to the distributor. The Missouri DOC says that it has enough American made propofol still in stock that can still be used for the executions. But now Governor Jay Nixon has postponed the executions indefinitely until another method can be worked out.
It is outrageous how the EU has blackmailed America into treating our prisoners to their liking. Their faux compassion is especially galling when one considers that the EU looked the other way when products were shipped to Syria to help make chemical weapons that killed thousands of people. They sell billions of dollars worth of military equipment around the world that will be used to kill thousands, perhaps even millions, more people. Now they have the temerity to dictate to us how we should treat our prisoners who have been convicted of murder by juries of their peers? Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to describe this outrage. Sadly for our justice system, one of the three pillars of the American Constitution, they got away with it.