Once more, MindFreedom Ireland holds an annual protest around the time of Mothers Day to say “no” to electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

  • Protest
when May 14, 2011
from 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
where Cork, Ireland
contact name
contact phone 021-4894303; 086-0624445
attendees All welcome.
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(forwarded announcement from MindFreedom Ireland)


A public protest against the use of electroshock in Irish psychiatric hospitals will take place in Cork on Saturday, May 14th, 2011.


Testimonies by people who have received the controversial procedure will be given in addition to information leaflets on the nature and use of electroshock in Irish hospitals today.


Electroshock involves passing an electric current of up to 400 volts through the brain inducing a convulsion or grand-mal epileptic seizure which its proponents say, helps severely depressed people.  A general anaesthetic is administered along with muscle-relaxing drugs.


Opponents point to the brain damage and particularly the memory loss associated with the procedure and say any claimed benefits are only temporary, necessitating even more and more sessions of the ‘treatment’.  They highlight the fact that statistically worldwide, mothers and grandmothers are the main recipients of the procedure.  In Ireland, the female/male ratio is 2:1 and in addition, there are widespread geographical differences in the administration of electroshock.  The latest figures from the Mental Health Commission show that in 2009 for example, only 24 out of 66 approved centres (36.4%) used electroshock reflecting the misgivings that exist even among psychiatrists themselves.


Of particular significance is the fact that Section 59b of the 2001 Mental Health Act allows for the procedure to be given to a person who is “unable or unwilling” to give consent, on the say-so of two consulting psychiatrists.  In other words, a legally competent, resistant adult is treated as a second class citizen under what has been described as a form of ‘psychological apartheid’.  Forty-four people were so treated in Ireland in 2009, again with a ratio of 62.5% women to 37.5% men


The protest will take place between 2pm and 5pm outside Bishop Lucey Park on The Grand Parade, Cork.  It is being organised by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based group of psychiatric survivors and supporters who campaign for a more humane approach to the problems of emotional distress and are opposed to the over-prescription of drugs and the use of forced ‘treatments’.  This will be the 5th year in which they have taken their protest to the streets.




More information about this event…