Wednesday, June 11, 2014

AMA House Calls for Protocols for Post-'Taser' Medical Assessments

The AMA House of Delegates approved a resolution this week calling on the AMA and other organizations and medical specialty societies to develop a standardized, postexposure medical protocol for the use of conducted electrical devices (CEDs or “Tasers”) and to support the incorporation of such a protocol into law enforcement procedures and training.

During reference committee hearings, Jennifer Piel, M.D., J.D., a delegate from the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, spoke in support of the resolution and told delegates that Tasers are frequently used at the time of arrest  or in prison settings with individuals who have mental illness. She said post-Taser medical assessments should include an assessment of mental status with appropriate follow-up treatment.

The annual policymaking meeting of the AMA concludes today. During the four-day meeting, delegates considered and approved a range of reports and resolutions vital to psychiatrists and other physicians. Subjects addressed by the House included the crisis at the VA, problems associated with conversion to ICD-10; the risk of concussions associated with youth sports, adequacy of health plan physician networks to provide true access to care, and the integration of behavioral and general medical care. For coverage of these and other issues, see upcoming editions of Psychiatric News.

(Image: Mark Moran)


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