“Thank you, thank you, MindFreedom!” says Elizabeth Ellis, 67, a retired Minnesota teacher, who won her main goals: She has returned home, free of forced electroshocks. After 13 involuntary court-ordered electroshocks, including one on an outpatient basis, MFI launched a campaign for Elizabeth, and she has won.

Elizabeth K. Ellis, 67, of Moorhead, Minnesota: Forced outpatient electroshock survivor.

Alert6 – Update 30 May 2011


Victory: Elizabeth Ellis Returns Home, Free of Forced Electroshock

This week, MindFreedom received a thank you card from Elizabeth Ellis, expressing her gratitude for the efforts and encouragement MindFreedom member exerted on her behalf.

“I know the hospital recognized they had a power to reckon with in MindFreedom. Thanks again,” she wrote.

On Memorial Day, when the USA remembered soldiers who died for freedom, MFI Member Elizabeth Ellis reflected on her victory for her own freedom: No forced electroshock, and freed from a psychiatric institution. 

She told MindFreedom: “I’m doing real fine. I am so appreciative of such good support from MindFreedom supporters. If it hadn’t been for MindFreedom I would be getting forced shock. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for the support!”

Elizabeth Ellis, a 67-year-old resident of Minnesota, had been court-ordered to receive electroshock (also known as ECT or electroconvulsive therapy). She received more than a dozen involuntary electroshocks by the beginning of this year.

In January 2011, MindFreedom International launched a public campaign to support Elizabeth’s right to say “no” to forced electroshock. She stayed in her home instead of reporting for an involuntary electroshock, and was locked up. 

The State of Minnesota asked a court to allow more forced electroshocks of Elizabeth.

On April 25, 2011, a judge issued a ruling saying that there would be no further forced electroshock over Elizabeth’s expressed wishes unless she is diagnosed “catatonic.” 

Being able to say “no” to electroshock was Elizabeth’s main goal, and she has won that. However, the judge did rule for a variety of other involuntary psychiatric interventions such as forced psychiatric drugging.

Last week, on 24 May, Elizabeth was finally discharged, and returned home. 

For more information, including a summary of the judge’s ruling, visit:


No Government Funding for Forced Electroshock!


The ruling for Elizabeth is also a sign that the judge paid attention to the USA Food & Drug Administration hearing in January which recommended to the FDA that electroshock finally be investigated for safety and efficacy, after 70 years of essentially no regulation or oversight. The panel also made an exception for “catatonia.” 

Said David Oaks, director of MFI, “The USA government should listen to the judge’s logic here. Since the FDA panel said electroshock had problems with safety and efficacy, then ‘no should mean no’ to electroshock. The US and other governments should immediately halt all taxpayer payments to any electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject.”



Ask Sen. Al Franken to stop taxpayer funding of forced electroshock in USA health care system:

Phone Sen. Al Franken and Other Officials


D.C. office: (202) 224-5641 St. Paul office: (651) 221-1016 


Staff at the D.C. and St. Paul offices of US Sen. Al Franken expressed concern, and say Senator Franken is aware of Elizabeth’s plight. 

Please call and e-mail civil, strong messages to Sen. Franken’s offices, and other officials.


Sample message, though your own words are best:


“Senator Franken: Please ask the USA to immediately halt taxpayer funding of involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject! A judge ruled Elizabeth Ellis had this right. So should other Americans. An FDA panel recommended in January that electroshock finally be investigated for safety and effectiveness. ‘No’ should mean ‘No’ to electroshock!”


Ask Senator Al Franken to Support His Constituent, Elizabeth EllisContact US Sen. Al Franken


Additional actions: 

To contact other elected officials and Minnesota Human Services Administrator, and postal mail a card to Elizabeth, click here:

For the latest news and background info, check the “Elizabeth Campaign Gateway” here: 

Photo of Robert and Elizabeth Ellis, who say "no" to her forced outpatient electroshock

In the Elizabeth Campaign Gateway  you can find:

  • The latest court ruling in April 2011, that gives Elizabeth a partial victory: The right to say ‘no’ to forced electroshock!
  • A folder of court and agency documents you can download about Elizabeth’s forced electroshock, including the court order to transport her to a psychiatric institution for saying “no” to forced electroshock.
  • An interview with Elizabeth on 12 Feb. on MindFreedom Free Web Radio.
  • How to join a Facebook Cause for Elizabeth. 
  • Learn how the day after Elizabeth and her husband Robert (pictured together above) refused to go to her outpatient electroshock… an FDA panel voted that the device is “hazardous,” and should finally be tested for safety and efficacy for the first time in 70 years!
  • A blog entry by MindFreedom director David Oaks calls for the global mental health advocacy community to create a peaceful revolution like that in Egypt. 
  • For the latest info, check frequently at the Elizabeth Ellis Campaign Gateway
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