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Taser May Have Regulated Man s Heart Rhythm; Incident suggests the device may indeed affect the heart, as critics argue

WASHINGTON — A quick shock from a Taser may have zapped a man’s fluttering heart back into a healthy rhythm, doctors reported on Tuesday.

They cited the incident as evidence that the devices, which are used by police who want to use less-than-deadly force to incapacitate people but are condemned by some civil rights groups as dangerous, may affect the heart as critics allege.

In this case, the outcome was a happy one, the doctors reported in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Several lawsuits in the United States and Canada contend the devices, which use an electric charge to subdue an attacker, can stop the heart.

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