Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...

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The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Medical Researchers unaware of rate of misuse

Here is an extract from a letter to the editor where the medical researchers appear to have been bamboozled by Taser propaganda.

"...although our data show that rapid myocardial capture can occur with an implanted device, this observation should be viewed in the context of the use of the taser device that provides an alternative to the use of lethal force in law enforcement situations."

I guess these doctors are unaware of the many examples of taser abuse. They should know that the taser more often replaces talking than replaces lethal force.

Corrected version (what they should have written):

"...our data show that rapid myocardial capture can occur with an implanted device. When this observation is combined with the apparent excessively high rate of taser use (and/or misuse), it raises important societal questions about the unexpected risks and questionable real-world cost-benefit ratio of the taser in law enforcement situations."

3 comments:

Nate said...

I don't have full access to the JCE letter, but I'm guess it refers to their (Medtronix) August 2007 paper (Cao and Saxon) in the same journal. Is that correct?

In the abstracted conclusions from that article, the authors seem to want to hedge for the safety of TI's devices in the absence of implantable cardiac devices:

"This report describes the first human case of ventricular myocardial capture at a rapid rate resulting from a Taser application. This raises the issue as to whether conducted energy devices can cause primary myocardial capture or capture only in association with cardiac devices providing a preferential pathway of conduction to the myocardium."

That's a bit strange to me.

Anonymous said...

Good scientists have the following characteristic:

1) They very clearly know what they don't know.

2) They're quite never sure about what they do know.

It's called The Scientific Method, or plain old skepticism.

So your quotation is from a very good scientist. He limits his findings to exactly what he has studied. And that's nice.

If you use this standard to judge Taser Director semi-scientist millionaire Kroll, you'll find his confidence in the safety of tasers exceeds reasonable scientific standards (in my opinion).

Nate said...

An interesting take... I thought the authors used their statement of what they don't known to raise reader doubt on the dangers of TI's product. I would have shot for a more neutral statement.

It wouldn't surprise me if a paper with Medtronix tied to it was sympathetic to another device company. From my experience in the medical sciences industry, businessmen love to tickle each others' asses. That includes scientists in industry, especially if they're fellow entrepreneurs. A journal wouldn't be a barrier to that fellowship. Then again, they could also be afraid of TI's legal prowess.

But, that's all assumption, and perhaps the authors of the abstract I quoted are indeed impartial. I just wonder whether the letter that you quote from is the end product of bamboozlement or empathy.