Health ethics expert available to comment on Benoit case


By Communications Staff
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The impetus behind the murder-suicide of 40-year Canadian WWE wrestler Chris Benoit and his family has been attributed to 'roid rage.'
Kenneth W. Kirkwood, a Health Sciences assistant professor at The University of Western Ontario, specializes in applied health ethics and questions reports to date.
Kirkwood comments, “There has been a rush to attribute the death of the Benoit family to 'roid rage.' This is premature and misguided. While it is commonly observed that steroid users can be highly aggressive, it's scientifically unclear what causes this trait.
“It could be a case of placebo effect, wherein a person takes steroids so they can feel more aggressive and confident. It is typical in North America to assume drugs cause crime, and while it is not surprising that a professional athlete would take steroids, we don't know if Benoit took any, and it is just as likely that another psychiatric problem could have caused this truly horrifying crime."
Kirkwood can be reached at 519-473-6802 or via email at
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Communications & Public Affairs, 519-661-2111 ext. 85165 (office), 519-520-7281 (cell).
Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.













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