Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Alberta chief medical examiner suffering from excited diagnoseum

The condition suffered by Dr. Graeme Dowling, Alberta Chief Medical examiner seems to be caused partly by environmental factors such as the police having public relations difficulties concerning the use of tasers but it is also believed that reading propaganda (aka scientific studies) funded by Taser Inc. is often a contributing factor. The condition involves excitedly jumping to diagnostic conclusions using labels that have no scientific foundation.

The first quote is from canadianmedicine. The second from wikipedia.

Alberta's chief medical examiner, Dr Graeme Dowling, repeated the scientifically questionable assertion that people who die after being shot with a Taser typically are victims of a drug-induced condition called "excited delirium." An autopsy is scheduled for today for Gordon Walker Bowe, who died Saturday in Calgary after perhaps being Tasered. [Edmonton Journal] "Excited delirium" is not a real diagnosis, as Ryan Bergen wrote last year. [National Review of Medicine] A Canadian blog, Truth... Not Tasers, written by the family of a BC man who died after being shot by a Taser, has been chronicling the recent news. [Truth... Not Tasers]

Eric Balaban of the American Civil Liberties Union said: "I know of no reputable medical organization — certainly not the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American Psychological Association (APA) that recognizes excited delirium as a medical or mental-health condition." Melissa Smith of the American Medical Association said, the organization has "no official policy" on the alleged disorder.Grame Norton, director of the public safety project of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association argues that "Anytime you see a specific condition being referenced in only one context it raises serious question." Other critics assert that the term is used to mask police brutality. Although the term "excited delirium" has been accepted by the National Association of Medical Examiners in the United States it has been rejected by the American Medical Association while the Canadian Medical Association Journal dismisses it as a "pop culture phenomenon". The condition is not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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