Kind of off-topic, but related to a previous post.

This is freaky. Several taser deaths have been in the news, and the device’s use has become quite controversial. Most publicity was given to the poor Polish man who got stuck in an airport and was tased for no other reason than being not calm (in an airport in a foreign country where he didn’t speak the language).

Anyhow, Taser, with their deep pockets is now going around the country suing people blaming their product in people’s deaths. Including medical examiners!!

“Many medical examiners, who are charged with determining the official causes of death, view the Scottsdale-based company’s efforts as disturbing, the spokesman for the National Association of Medical Examiners says.

“It is dangerously close to intimidation,” says Jeff Jentzen, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners. “At this point, we adamantly reject the fact that people can be sued for medical opinions that they make.”

Duh. So what’s Taser’s excuse? Well, they’re promoting a condition called “excited delirium”

The condition, which is not recognized as a diagnosis in official medical manuals, is used to describe deaths of suspects who become so agitated by drugs, psychosis or poor health that their bodies shut down during struggles with police.

Excited delirium has been cited in police custody-death cases for decades. It is now being blamed more and more by medical examiners for deaths that occur following a police Taser strike, including at least one in Maricopa County in recent years.

Taser has funded excited delirium studies and has been involved in promoting its research. The company maintains that excited delirium is a valid syndrome, and some doctors say it will gain acceptance as more research is conducted.

Mark Schlosberg, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California who has worked on several Taser cases, argued that excited delirium has become a convenient way to explain away deaths that occur at the hands of police.

“There are plenty of medical examiners who are very skeptical of excited delirium,” he added. “But that is not what Taser is promoting . . . They attribute almost all of the deaths following a Taser strike to excited delirium.” [emphasis mine]

Duuuuuuude! This is sick. They have enough money to effectively invent a new medical condition to explain away the dangers of their product. Ugh. This has created a losing-faith-in-humanity moment. 😦

P.S. And if you haven’t checked out the Taser website above, please do – especially the part with smiling happy photos of families who need to incapacitate people with excessive amount of electric current.

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