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Hospital experts debate wisdom of using stun guns to control violent patients

Washington Post, July 20, 2010

Stun guns have started to show up in hospital settings, a migration that has raised some concerns.  On July 8, a security guard used a stun gun on the 25-year-old nephew of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after he allegedly became combative when trying to leave a Marrero, LA, hospital against doctors' orders, according to the nephew's relatives. Derek Thomas's family said he was subdued with a stun gun. The hospital has cited patient privacy laws in declining to comment. There are 151 hospitals in the United States that use or are testing Taser brand electronic control devices. Each hospital develops its own stun-gun guidelines, but a company spokesperson said, "Hospital security officers on scene are best able . . . to determine the proper response."