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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another taser ho study

Taser International has issued a news release about a "New Medical Study [that] Shows TASER Device Has Minimal Physiological Effect On Humans in Simulated Arrest Scenarios -
Fighting or Fleeing From Police is Most Detrimental to Health."

The news release says "The research led by Dr. Jeffrey D. Ho of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, looked at the human physiology involved in common subject behavior, as well as police tools and tactics in arrest-related scenarios."

According to the publication, Mother Jones, Taser International pays Dr. Ho to conduct studies and testify— he got $70,000 during a recent 12-month stretch (see Mother Jones - Taser's Delirium Defense).

According to sources, Dr. Ho got a ride to the Braidwood Inquiry in a Taser jet.

According to his resume, Dr. Ho "is a licensed deputy sheriff in the state of Minnesota and currently serves with the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office. "

A Google search for the other author of the study, Dr. Donald Dawes, shows that Dr. Dawes and Dr. Ho play nice together.

Doctor on Taser payroll testifies at Braidwood Inquiry
May 11, 2009
Marcella Bernardo, CKNW Vancouver

An emergency room physician --who's done research supporting the use of Tasers by police-- has told the Braidwood Inquiry he doesn't believe the stun gun killed Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. Doctor Jeffrey Ho is a shareholder in Taser International and some of his research is funded by the company. While testifying via video-link from Germany, Ho confirmed he was paid more than $60,000 by Taser last year. Much of his research focusses on the stun gun's alleged impact on the heart, but under questioning by a lawyer representing Dziekanski's mother, Ho admits he's not a heart specialist. He testified, "I hold a medical licence in the state of Nevada, but no board certifications anywhere else." Ho also admits some of his research was co-authored by a former Taser employee who has no medical expertise.


Critical Mass said...

Dr. Ho knows that Tasers can cause death, so to "set up" his studies on Tasers, I would bet the following to be true:

1.) Only Taser "training" cartridges were used, where the electrical leads are taped to the back, arms, legs ~ as far from the heart as possible. I know of no tests which have ever been conducted to test the output of these "training cartridges" to assure they match the cartridge used by law enforcement.

2.) I can't imagine that the volunteers were impacted with the Taser barbs in the "center of mass" on the human torso, which is the chest, with the barbs 1 to 2 inches under the skin. That would be the "real-world" Taser use.

3.) Dr. Ho knows full well that the "medical principle" behind a Tasers ability to cause "neuromuscular disruption" is the same principle which a defibrillator uses to shock the heart. In fact, Tasers are actually "fibrillators", a device which was at one time was used during heart surgery. With that knowledge, Dr. Ho would be reckless if he shocked his subjects multiple times, with Taser barbs under the skin and across the heart.

But I haven't read the study or its parameters.

Yossarian said...

Remember this story? "Taser Shock Probably Restored Man’s Heart Rhythm."

Yossarian said...

Here is a quote from Taser Shock Probably Restored Man’s Heart Rhythm:

"US doctors have reported a case of a man whose irregular heart rhythm was probably restored to normal after he was given a shock with a Taser gun, lending support to the argument that these devices have the potential to alter the function of the heart."