Although this is a grusome fate, it was almost humane in that it gave nearly instant death, if not from shock then from bloodloss. Other methods of torture were meant to keep the victim alive and suffering. For example, one way was to put hot coals in the backs of the knees and elbows, burning the tendons, and tying the limbs in a manner that they would be completely flexed, so that they would heal in that way and the victim would be left with functionless limbs.
Joe: Damn it, Mr. Craig, that never happened.
Mr. Craig: Mr. Palombit, if you interrupt me once more I will blood eagle you.
Joe:... (Horrified silence)