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.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

c. 400BC: 'First - do no harm'

I've already posted about The Karma Factor in a previous post. [LINK]

Bad Karma - that's the problem with Smith's approach. His accounting is overly-simplistic. He claims his device "saves 70 lives for every life lost." [LINK]

What if (for example) we could save 70 lives by executing a cute little innocent baby? Would we? Who gets to choose? Who plays God? I'm not saying that one life is worth more than any other, but that doesn't mean that it is ethical to claim one possibly-innocent life in order to save even 70 others (innocent or not).

Then you mix in the all-too-common taser abuse, the entire 70-to-1 concept gets wonky and YouTube gets clogged with blatantly-obvious examples of unethical taser applications. It's all tied together in a huge mess.

Anyway - back to Ethics 101.

I believe that some medical doctors generally face tougher ethical choices on a day-to-day basis than do the police. And the doctors have already addressed this ethical quandary of trading-off lives more than 2400 years ago with the Hippocratic Oath.

The oath includes words to the effect of: first, do no harm.

If you go with Smith's simplistic math is ethics, then you end up with the sort of nightmare future-world that is sometimes seen in the most frightening of the science fiction stories. Ethically, Smith's 70-to-1 taser trade-off would be quite similar to [please excuse the grotesque example] grinding up newborn babies for their stem cells (saving hundreds of lives for every baby lost).

The taser is a science fiction weapon from those horrid future-worlds imagined in the worst nightmare SciFi.

And although these sorts of lives-for-life trade-offs appear to be an ethical quandary, it is a quandary that was clearly resolved about 2400 years ago.

Canadians (and new immigrants) deserve much better than tasers.

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