I have never inserted a catheter into a patient’s femoral vein. In the unlikely event I ever have to perform this procedure, I hope I don’t screw it up as epically as the unnamed doctor assisting with Clayton D. Lockett’s execution last April.
What’s notable about this doctor’s dismal failure, described by the warden who witnessed it as a “bloody mess,” isn’t just that he hit the nearby femoral artery instead of the vein. Nor is it that his misdirected first attempt caused the fatal drugs to leak into the surrounding tissue instead of traveling through the bloodstream to kill the prisoner. What makes the whole sordid affair all the more appalling is that during the process of botching the execution and inflicting undue suffering, the doctor in question got blood on his jacket and then complained that he’d better get paid enough to buy a new one.
That distant whirring sound you hear is a long-dead Greek physician spinning in his grave.