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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Braidwood Inquiry

Scheduled Witnesses (Subject To Change)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dr. S. Lu (Psychiatrist)

From Mother Jones - Taser's Delirium Defence, March/April 2009:

Shao-Hua Lu, a psychiatrist who treats addicts at Vancouver General Hospital, hadn't heard of ED before 2007, when he began working on a Canadian government probe of Taser safety. "No [practicing] medical doctor would write down 'delirium' on a death certificate as a cause of death," says Lu, who trains Canadian Mounties to identify mental health problems, including various forms of delirium, in their subjects. "I don't understand why MEs would write that."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Brian Hilton (CBSA)

Binder Kooner (CBSA)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Supt. W. Rideout (RCMP)

Inspector T. Lightfoot (RCMP)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Don Ehrenholz (YVR Operations)

Dr. C. Kerr (Cardiologist)

See Tasers can cause death, inquiry told - CBC, May 20, 2008

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dr. Z. Tseng (Cardiac Electrophysiologist)

From the May 9, 2008 edition of the Toronto Star (reporting on Dr. Tseng's earlier appearance at the Braidwood Inquiry):

A heart-rhythm expert also told the inquiry there are real risks to Taser use, despite the company's safety claims.

"Just because somebody collapses of sudden death minutes later after a Taser application doesn't mean that the two are not connected," said Dr. Zian Tseng, a San Francisco cardiologist and electrophysiologist.

Tseng said any normal, healthy person could die from a jolt of the conducted energy weapon if the shock was given in the right area of the chest and during the vulnerable point in the beating of the heart.

He stressed the risk of death is far greater if there is adrenaline or illicit drugs coursing through the body or if the person has a history of heart or other medical issues.

Tseng fell into studying conducted energy weapons about three years ago when he created a media storm by telling a San Francisco newspaper the device could induce cardiac arrhythmia.

"Shortly thereafter I was contacted by Taser directly to reconsider my statements to the media. They even offered to support (my) research, to give me grant funding," Tseng said, adding he declined the offer in order to remain independent.

Tseng said there needs to be much more real-world studies on the use of the weapon, instead of using police officers – often large, healthy males – to test the device.

He also said medical examiners should be given more freedom to investigate such deaths, even seizing the weapon for investigation if necessary.

"If there's a person that dropped dead suddenly after Taser application and you can find nothing else on the autopsy, I would venture to say that's due to arrhythmic death."

The risk to suspects being shocked could almost be zero to the heart if police avoided using the weapon in the chest area, and Tsang suggested that be one of Braidwood's recommendations.

Tsang also said police should avoid repeated shocks to lessen the chance they'll set the heart into an abnormal rhythm.

He said the risks are very low of a person dying while being arrested by police.

"What we don't know is has the Taser increased that risk from that very low rate to a slightly higher rate."

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