Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

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


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, April 4, 2009

'No specific findings' (at autopsy)

'...no specific findings...'

(at autopsy) [LINK]

Can anyone else see any potential problems with this taser 'Proof Issue'?

Such a circumstance can only lead to massive under-reporting of such potential causal factors that just happen to be completely invisible during postmortem exam.

The resultant data set of favourable medical findings is therefore (potentially) massively corrupted by this inherent under-reporting of invisible factors.

And yet this same data set is highlighted as purported evidence of safety.

Worse yet, very few people - even those who are in position where they should - question or even acknowledge this blatantly self-evident 'Proof Issue'. (Kudos to Macartney [LINK] for explicitly pointing it out.)

This already inherent under-reporting is further buttressed with legal action against unfavourable findings, and a corporate campaign of promoting the conveniently-meaningless and equally-invisible theory of death-by-'Excited Delirium'.

(At least 'Excited Delirium' doesn't sue... And it's certainly not going to buy you lunch.)

But their legal action is, in part, supported by the very same potentially-corrupted data set.

So they've cleverly arranged a self-sustaining loop of favourable findings, which steadfastly ignores this potential cracked foundation of inherent under-reporting.

Here are some possible partial solutions:

The purported data set of favourable autopsy reports is inherently suspect. It is not reliable evidence of anything. This data set of purported evidence must be treated as damaged goods until such time as someone fully solves this 'Proof Issue'. This conclusion is perfectly obvious, and follows directly, given that a potential death mechanism (which really is still an open question in the medical and scientific community) which would leave 'no specific findings' at autopsy.

And whatever occasional 'contributing factor' findings slip through Taser's net might represent just the tip of the iceberg. Multiply such unfavourable findings by whatever two-digit number you feel is fair in order to compensate for the unknown influence of this inherent under-reporting.

Use your common sense and watch the news reports of apparently healthy, often drug-free, young and middle-aged people being tasered, reacting immediately to the taser hit, and then ending up dead.

See also Postmortem Diagnosis of VF [LINK]

When the 'impossible' actually happens (repeatedly), then maybe it isn't really impossible.

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