John there are indeed people that may not be able to tolerate the recoil of a .38 Special even with full wad cutters. Mainly elderly women. Osteoperosis causes brittle bones. Also some people that are on medications for lupus tend to be at risk for brittle bones. Even the light recoil of .38 special could possibly break their wrist, or hand.
That would make it impossible for them to fire another shot if they needed it.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.