Cause of death for an 87-year-old Boring woman who collapsed after being hit by a police stun gun is officially listed as chronic heart disease, the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday. However, Dr. Larry Lewman, deputy state medical examiner, said the manner of death for Phyllis A. Owens, who had a pacemaker since 2007, was receiving a 50,000-volt jolt from a Taser fired by a Clackamas County sheriff's deputy. "The cause of her death is hypertensive cardio-vascular disease," Lewman said. "But it occurred because of the electric stun gun, which probably intercepted a pacemaker wire."[via TNT] [LINK]
Anyone can play semantic games with the wording of this case.
But the plain facts are that the taser was the immediate cause of death.
(I'm using the word cause in the sense of cause-and-effect. Medical Examiners sometimes use the word in a way where the meaning has been twisted out of shape.)
The lady had cardiac conditions, was tasered, and died at that time because of the taser. She might have lived for many more years if she hadn't been tasered.
The cardiac conditions are part of the landscape, essentially a given, with an elderly person.
And if the taser has no effect on the heart (I'm quoting "Dr." Mark Kroll, who is wrong), then why are cardiac conditions such a big deal with tasers?
This case is clear cut evidence that tasers DO affect the heart and CAN cause death.
If the police hadn't been misled about "taser safety", would they have used it in this case?