Taser International and another company closely linked to the manufacturer have paid the way for Ontario's deputy chief coroner to lecture at their conferences on the phenomenon of "excited delirium," a medically unrecognized term that the company often cites as a reason people die after being tasered.Of course the man in question has demonstrated tremendously good judgement relative to the public good in the past: "at an inquiry in Ontario, [Dr. Cairns] admitted to shielding disgraced pathologist Charles Smith."
Participating in a symposium that seeks to create a convenient medical excuse for the police's excessive use of force in inappropriate circumstances is morally and ethically wrong in my book. Dr. Cairns' participation in such a cynical enterprise should disqualify him from giving any future testimony or opinions with regard to Taser-related deaths. Talk about conflating private business interests with the public good. (And Dr. Cairns: Since when is accepting an expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas from a company against whose product you might be called to testify not a conflict of interest? What the heck is going on in the coroner's office?)
[Technorati tags: taser | james cairns | death]