back to article Can stun guns and tasers cause death?

Also in this week's column: Why do we doodle? Can stun guns and tasers cause death? Asked by Ian Leonard of London The chance of dying after being shot by a taser or stun gun is about one in 870. Dr William P Bozeman, professor of emergency medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North …

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Anonymous Coward

Not really low-current

Actually, according to a report (one of many which seem to have been removed from www.taser.com), the current pulses reach about 18 Amps.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050204222428/http://www.taser.com/documents/carletonuniv_000.pdf

It is interesting to look at the different versions of the following page, to see which reports have been deleted over time:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.taser.com/facts/medical_info.htm

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Anonymous Coward

So the answer is "no"...

... because there's no actual evidence that it can - read the article carefully:

"Of 75 people who died after being shot with a taser or stun gun, the taser was considered a potentially contributory cause of death in 27 per cent of cases."

Did you spot the word "potentially"? Not a shred of actual evidence that the discharge did indeed cause death - just 20 cases where it might have. And that's in the United States - no mention of how many cases were studied to produce this figure ("n" for all you statistics freaks), which could easily have been 10,000 or more.

In the UK, it's an alternative to being shot - i.e. by a real bullet (death by "lead allergy", perhaps?) - so don't lose any sleep. You can always comply, unless you're completely out of your brains on drink and/or drugs, in which case you're a public danger already.

And the article isn't even accurate: "In a taser, an electrode is shot out as a dart ...". No, it's not - there are two electrodes, not one. Hardly a scientific article.

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It doesn't claim one electrode!

The article does not claim that a taser has one electrode. It says clearly "...AN electrode..." (my emphasis). This is perfectly correct grammer regardless of how many electrodes there may be, in fact the very next paragraph says "...taser dartS..." (again, my emphasis).

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Other odds

But what are the odds of dying from a bullet in the ass or of a good beatdown because you wouldn't take a telling and the cops had no tazer?

Ask Rodney King if he'd rather the cops had stun guns.

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Anonymous Coward

Jonathon Desmond...

"This is perfectly correct grammer..."

Perfectly correct *grammAr* but atrocious spelling... :-)

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