Inexcusable use of Taser

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From: PW Machin, Elm Close, Darrington, Pontefract.

I was amazed to read in the Yorkshire Post of the man being tasered by a police officer.

First of all we must remember that Alzheimer’s is a very cruel and terminal disease.

It appears that a GP had called the police because he was attempting to send a man to hospital for possible sectioning (something that cannot be done by a GP, only by trained psychiatrists after consultation).

As anyone with any knowledge of Alzheimer’s will tell you, trying to force a sufferer to do something can cause major problems, and obviously the GP should know this and is at fault.

Secondly, the man had not been sectioned, so was quite within his rights to refuse to go.

Thirdly the police officer(s) who used the Taser carried out a serious assault: just imagine the outcry if a member of the public had assaulted this man in his home or a care home.

They should at least receive training or even be prosecuted depending on the circumstances.

The police response is interesting, they defend their action only by telling us how good they were and how well they handled the situation.

This is a tactic often used by their colleagues in the fire service.

Perhaps the whole incident needs to be reviewed by an independent body such as the Alzheimer’s Society.

From: C Balmer, Victoria Gardens, Victoria Avenue, Kingston-upon-Hull.

What sort of society have we become when a doctor and police officers consider it appropriate to treat a vulnerable, disabled, old chap with an injection of 50,000 volts (Yorkshire Post, May 9 and 11)?

Mrs Russell is correct; there must be a kinder way.

The doctor could have called a consultant psychiatrist and psychiatric social worker to visit the patient, assess the situation and consider the treatment options.

These professionals have training skills and powers which differ from those of police officers and the patient may have responded much more favourably to them.