Swedish Medical Center Security to Carry Tasers

Swedish Medical Center security staff will carry tasers, according to the Seattle Times. Spokesperson Clay Holtzman described the move as “our best, less-lethal option when compared to batons and pepper spray.”

We cannot stress this enough — these tools are never, ever to be used to subdue an uncooperative patient. They are for preventing or stopping violence that is a danger to staff, other patients, the subject themselves, etc.

Despite this, the language “volatile, unstable people” could include patients, given the right conditions. The use of tasers opens up new liabilities at the medical center between both accidental misfires and potential mortality risks for those with pacemakers or heart conditions:

I’ve maintained and published that the Taser can cause cardiac arrest. It does so by revving up the heart rate from the normal 70 or so times a minute to extremely rapid rates.

Dr. Douglas Zipes, Indiana University School of Medicine The Columbian

Swedish Medical Center’s 70 security officers will begin implementation on June 1.

Watch the report from KIRO TV: