The Trouble With Tasers - What The Manufacturer Doesn't Want You To Know

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 08 Mar 2007 12:18:33 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Seth Porges at CrunchGear - Taser International claims that their electric shock devices are safe. But instead of encouraging research to support their claim, they sue anybody who publishes a study to the contrary. Personally, I consider the taser to be a potentially lethal device, and I am justified in responding with lethal force should anyone threaten me with one. [gizmodo]

Taser's lawsuits include cases against medical examiners in Indiana and Ohio who cited Taser-induced electrical shocks as the cause of death. But perhaps most striking is the case of James Ruggieri. In early 2006, Ruggieri published an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. The study, "one of the few scientific studies of Taser's electric jolt in which the company did not participate," as The Arizona Republic put it, concluded that Tasers were far more powerful than the company acknowledged and that the devices are capable of causing fatal heart rhythms.

Not taking the criticism lightly, the company sued Ruggieri for defamation, claiming he lacked the expertise to make such judgments, even though his story passed through the rigors of the peer-review screening process.


"For the most part, the only information that's available is promotional information provided by the company," says Neil Pliskin, Ph.D. director of neuropsychology and professor of clinical psychiatry and neurology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Some electrically injured patients are at risk for other types of insults to their brain and central nervous system, and it would seem to be incumbent on the scientific community and those who are interested in the effects of electrical shock to look at this issue. Any risk of electrical shock could theoretically be applied in consideration of Tasers, although until scientific information comes out either in support or against it, it would just be speculative. The problem is that studies still need to be done. But lets put it this way: If it was me invited to go over and get shocked at their booth, I'd probably decline it."</quote>

Add comment Edit post Add post