Numerous studies have concluded that tasers do not pose risks to the people they shock. A closer looks finds this conclusion is far more likely when the study was funded by the Taser maker, or conducted by someone with links to the company.
UCSF cardiologist Dr. Byron Lee, a specialist in electrophysiology, says he has been curious about tasers ever since they have come into prominence as a widely used tool of law enforcement. This study was his first opportunity to look more closely at their use--and consequences.
In northern California, tasers have been used with some frequency to subdue individuals who are high on methamphetamine, as they can be more strenuously resisant toward police officers. But Dr. Lee says their altered state also places those individuals at greater risk from the electrical shocks.