Media Advisory - Documenting, reporting, and researching the health effects of conducted energy weapons (stun guns) inadequate, finds Expert Panel

OTTAWA, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - A new expert panel report, entitled The Health Effects of Conducted Energy Weapons, was released today by the Council of Canadian Academies in collaboration with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

The assessment was conducted by a 14-member panel of distinguished multidisciplinary experts and chaired by the Honourable Justice Stephen T. Goudge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario.  The Expert Panel was asked to consider the state of knowledge about the medical and physiological impacts of conducted energy weapons (CEWs).

Based on a review of the best available research, the Panel determined that, while potentially fatal respiratory and cardiac complications are plausible if a number of factors are in place, their occurrence is rare. The Panel also concluded that:

  • there is a need for higher-quality evidence to fully understand the relationship between CEW use and potential adverse health effects;
  • a comparable and standardized approach for documenting and reporting adverse effects after a CEW discharge, by law enforcement and health professionals, is needed to improve the state of the evidence; and
  • improved surveillance and monitoring should be taken into account when considering future policies and practices.

This report is one of the most comprehensive assessments of national and international evidence to date regarding the health effects of CEWs, and will complement other work on appropriate use, testing, and safety of CEW devices.

To learn more about the Expert Panel's report, please visit or view a brief video at

About the Council of Canadian Academies
The Council of Canadian Academies is an independent, not-for-profit organization that began operation in 2005. The Council supports evidence-based, expert assessments to inform public policy development in Canada. Assessments are conducted by independent, multidisciplinary panels of experts from across Canada and abroad. The Council's blue-ribbon panels serve free of charge and many are Fellows of the Council's Member Academies: the Royal Society of Canada; the Canadian Academy of Engineering; and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. The Council's vision is to be a trusted voice for science in the public interest. For more information, visit

About the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
CAHS recognizes individuals of great achievement in the academic health sciences in Canada. Founded in 2004, CAHS has approximately 400 Fellows and appoints new Fellows on an annual basis. The organization is managed by a voluntary Board of Directors and a Board Executive. The main function of CAHS is to provide timely, informed, and unbiased assessments of urgent issues affecting the health of Canadians. The Academy also monitors global health-related events to enhance Canada's state of readiness for the future, and provides a Canadian voice for health sciences internationally.

Video with caption: "The Health Effects of Conducted Energy Weapons is a joint report produced by the Council of Canadian Academies and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences". Video available at:

SOURCE: Council of Canadian Academies

For further information:

Cate Meechan
Director, Communications
Council of Canadian Academies
613-567-5000 ext. 228

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