Medical Journal Calls for Taser Safety Review
The opinion piece released on Thursday argues that Taser use is a public health issue, and Canadian officials should not be relying on the manufacturer, Taser International, or its paid research to determine if stun guns are safe.
It also questions the assertion by Taser International that the weapon does not adversely affect the heart, and its explanation that people who die after being shocked by a Taser were killed by excited delirium rather than the effects of the stun gun.
"We were hoping to draw attention to the odd ways in which the message on Tasers has really been controlled by Taser proponents," said Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, the author of the editorial and an assistant professor, researcher and specialist in respirology at Toronto Western Hospital.
He told CBC News that while the public has been told that Tasers save lives, he says the number of deaths that have occurred after a Taser was used would prompt warnings and action by regulators if the weapon were a medical device or a drug.