Three weeks back, I participated in a discussion about tasers as a form of torture, and I was scolded for my opinion that using pain compliance (such as Drive-Stun tasers) was intimately central to torture by a commenter named Timaarhy. Here is what he wrote:
your attitude sickens me.
what you are proposing is that police should have to put their lives even further at risk to satisfy your unfounded fears that tasers could be lethal. cops are people with families at home, are you going to be the one to tell a police officers wife her husband has hepititis contracted from a bite while restraining a suspect, when a simple taser would have doen the job and kept everyone safe. Because that's the kind of shit that happens.
what you fail to take into account at every turn is the number of lives and injuries that DIDN'T happen because a taser was used.
I've recently found the archetypical example of this thinking. View it here. Watch the whole thing, the officers' accounts go through to the end.
Two officers are confronted with a car crash victim whose clothes and skin have burned off, on the ground covered in blood - unarmed. He refuses to turn over so he can be handcuffed. They indicated later their absolute fear of this horrific sight, and their need "not to get any of him on them" due to the risk of hepatitis. According to one of the officers, "I didn't know what I would do if he complied after the taser... I guess wait for backup."
According to them (as opposed to the half-dozen witnesses to the incident), after the burn victim, according to the officers in a delirious state, continued to refuse to lay down, they tased him a second and third time. Their amazement that he didn't comply after repeated tasings added to their fear.
After that, (again, according to officers, not witnesses) the officers reported that he stood up and went violently insane, shouting threats and jumping on top of the police car. They desperately wanted to avoid touching him, so they shot him.
That's where protecting the force from hepatitis at all costs, and making their job easier at all costs gets you.