(credit: Wellcome Collection)
In Ancient China, there was a form of execution called waist chop. Just like its name, it entails a person being literally chopped in half from the waist.
It was reserved only for the most serious criminals since many people did not die immediately after being chopped.
In 1734, Yu Hongtu (俞鴻圖), the Education Administrator of Henan, was sentenced to a waist chop. After being cut in two at the waist, he remained alive long enough to write the Chinese character cǎn (慘; "horrible") seven times with his own blood before dying. After hearing this, the Yongzheng Emperor abolished this form of execution.