Friday, April 03, 2009

Ten Percent

Imagine a medical device manufacturer producing a device that causes slight discomfort in one out of every ten units sold.

Now imagine that manufacturer having a history of regularly issuing press releases about settlements or dismissals from product liability lawsuits.

In that imaginary scenario, there are three ways in which I'd be actively avoiding that medical device company. First, if I were looking to invest, I'd avoid that company's stock. Second, if I were looking to buy medical devices, I'd avoid products from that company. Third, if I were a patient, I'd avoid products from that company as well as doctors who use their products (I mean, as a patient, why would I want a ten percent chance of unnecessary discomfort?).

Sadly, in the case of Taser International's one-in-ten failure rate, "patients" don't have that last option and may experience post-discomfort death (i.e., suspect tased, suspect dies).