Information on Electroshock (also known as Electroconvulsive Therapy)

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Here you’ll find news and background information about the use of electroshock.

Info, starting with recently added material.

Electroshock (Electroconvulsive Therapy) Info

Glen K. Walks Free of Institution and Forced Electroshock

(Published: Nov 23, 2012 08:35 PM)
His psychiatrist claimed Glen K. could not function without involuntary electroshock. But after litigation by his attorney and a campaign by MindFreedom in Spring 2012, Glen K. was able to stop his forced electroshock. More than six months later, defying the dire predictions, Glen K. is getting out of the institution and into a community home. Congratulations Glen K.! Here’s an announcement from Glen K.’s attorney, approved by Glen K., emailed to David Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International.

VICTORY: Forced Electroshock of Glen K. in a New York Psychiatric Institution Halted!

(Published: Nov 20, 2012 07:50 PM)
Within 48 hours of the launch of a MindFreedom Alert Campaign, the Attorney General for New York announced that Glen K. will receive no more forced electroshock under his court order. Rockland Psychiatric Center was giving involuntary electroshock over and against Glen’s expressed wishes. Despite his psychiatrist’s pessimistic predictions, Glen K. did well without the forced electroshock and has been discharged to a community facility. You can read the updates and then the original alert here. [Update 4]

Anger over patient’s electro-shock therapy at Tolworth Hospital

(Published: Oct 24, 2012 08:15 PM)
A British newspaper reports about an Islamic family’s “disgusted” allegations that a family member was given involuntary electroshock over her and her family’s wishes.

Notes from an interview with Glen K. by MFI

(Published: Apr 17, 2012 07:01 PM)
Today, MFI held an interview with Glen K. about his ongoing involuntary electroshocks at Rockland Psychiatric Center. Here are notes from the interview, conducted on the phone by David Oaks, MFI director. In ‘related content’ at bottom, you can click, download and listen to a nine-minute excerpt MP3 audio.

Audio Interview with Glen K About His Forced Electroshocks

(Published: Apr 17, 2012 06:55 PM)
On 17 April 2012, MindFreedom interviewed Glen K., who is experiencing ongoing involuntary electroshock (electroconvulsive therapy or ECT) over and against his expressed wishes, in Rockland Psychiatric Center in New York State. On this nine-minute audio excerpt, Glen articulately and movingly expresses his suffering from the involuntary electroshocks, and his hopes of being free from this coercion. The MP3 download is approximately 11 megs. Typing of notes can be heard in background, but Glen’s message is clear. You can also find a link to text notes to the interview below.

Rockland Psychiatric Center in NY Gives Forced Electroshock

(Published: Apr 16, 2012 08:40 PM)
New York State’s Rockland Psychiatric Center has given forced electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject, all paid for by taxpayer dollars on the federal and state levels. MindFreedom has had more than one campaign to stop forced electroshocks in this notorious facility.

Info about the Involuntary Electroshock of Glen K in New York State

(Published: Apr 16, 2012 07:25 PM)
Glen K. knows electroshock, because he’s had it before. That’s why he stood up in court and argued that he should be free of forced electroshock. However, a New York hospital has succeeded in getting a court order to give Glen a series of involuntary electroshocks over his expressed wishes over the next year. Here is info about the campaign to help Glen K. say “No” to forced electroshock.

Forced Electroshock in Australia

(Published: Sep 06, 2011 10:17 AM)
The publication The Age reports on psychiatric abuse in Australia, including 377 individuals in Victoria who received electroshock (also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT) without their consent.

Info About Actress Carrie Fisher & Electroshock

(Published: May 30, 2011 03:40 PM)
Actress Carrie Fisher plans to put out a new book that praises her ongoing maintenance electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. Ask Fisher to have a heart, and hear from those who have been harmed by electroshock.

This Fall: Carrie Fisher Promotes Maintenance Electroshock in New Book

(Published: May 30, 2011 03:20 PM)
Actress Carrie Fisher is famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia in Star Wars. But she’s becoming famous for promoting her electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. Action: Ask Fisher to have a heart.

Spoken and written testimony by Leonard Roy Frank to FDA ECT Hearing

(Published: Jan 27, 2011 08:05 PM)
Activist and author Leonard Roy Frank, a long time supporter of MindFreedom International, attended the Food & Drug Administration hearing in January 2011 to speak out about the device used for electroshock. Here is both his written and spoken testimony, courtesy of Leonard.

Testimony by Dorothy Dundas to FDA About Electroshock, January 2011

(Published: Jan 27, 2011 07:57 PM)
You may download a PDF of MindFreedom member Dorothy Dundas’ testimony in front of the USA Food and Drug Administration hearing about electroshock. This month is the 50th anniversary of Dorothy’s forced shock.

Victory: FDA Panel Votes to Require Testing of ECT Device After Survivors Testify at FDA Electroshock Hearing

(Published: Jan 19, 2011 02:20 PM)
GAITHERSBURG, MD: A panel for the US Food & Drug Administration voted to ask the FDA to require testing of the device used for electroshock. MindFreedom members testified at these public hearings on whether to regulate electroshock device.

Loretta Wilson: Electroshock survivor and MindFreedom activist

(Published: Jan 05, 2011 02:10 PM)
Loretta is an electroshock survivor, and liaison for MindFreedom Michigan. Loretta says, in Jan. 2011: ” I am a survivor of 58 Electroshock’s with a strong desire to see electroshock abolished. I am willing to talk to anyone who is willing to listen. I have even talked to some who don’t want to hear about it! I had post-procedure pain from my electroshock. I struggle daily with memory loss from electroshock. I am 69 years old, widowed, mother of 5, grandmother of 7 and great grandma to my new baby girl, ‘Sophie.’ She’s beautiful!”

Risks of ECT outweigh benefits, review finds

(Published: Dec 27, 2010 08:03 PM)
The Irish Times carried the news of a psychiatric journal publishing an article by two psychologists questioning the use of electroshock.

“The effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy: A literature review” by John Read and Richard Bentall

(Published: Dec 27, 2010 07:55 PM)
A psychiatric publication has published this review article by two psychology professors that challenges the use of electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. The authors conclude that, “the cost-benefit analysis for ECT is so poor that its use cannot be scientifically justified.” You may download a PDF of the 15 page article published by the Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale, 19, 4, 2010, here.

The US Food & Drug Administration holds a meeting about electroshock device

(Published: Dec 09, 2010 05:55 PM)
The US FDA announced that on January 27 and 28, 2011, a US Food & Drug Administration committee will “discuss and make recommendations regarding the possible reclassification of devices indicated for use in electroconvulsive therapy.”

Event time: 2011-01-27 (08:00) – 2011-01-28 (18:00)

Shock therapy forced on patients

(Published: Jun 05, 2009 11:13 AM)
The Australian newspaper “The Sydney Morning Herald” investigated the doubling of forced electroshock cases in New South Wales (NSW), Australia in the past decade, and found there was a troubling lack of adequate legal representation and due process.

“Stop Shocking Our Mothers and Grandmothers”

(Published: Apr 22, 2009 05:44 PM)
MindFreedom Ireland is holding a peaceful protest against ECT this May.

Event time: 2009-05-30 (10:00-12:00)

FDA Near to Closing Books on Grandfathered Medical Devices

(Published: Apr 22, 2009 08:50 AM)
John Grohol of the psychology-watch web site may be a bit optimistic, but his analysis of the below MedPageToday article speculates that new FDA requirements that electroshock devices finally be tested for safety and efficacy might be more than a speed bump for manufacturers.

“Case study suggests new therapy for autism”

(Published: Apr 08, 2009 12:30 PM)
The widely-respected medical center, Johns Hopkins, reports that a child diagnosed “autistic” was given electroshock (also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT). More young children may also be given shock for this diagnosis because psychiatrist Lee Wachtel of Baltimore’s Kennedy Krieger Institute describes the results of his experiment as “the first documented case of a young autistic child who successfully improved self-injury behaviors after receiving ECT.” The experimental subject was an eight-year-old boy “known as D.” MindFreedom International condemns such experimentation on youth with such an intrusive and brain-damaging procedure.

Say No to Electroshock

(Published: Apr 02, 2009 01:29 PM)
Comité Pare-chocs is holding a gathering on Mother’s Day to protest ECT, highlighting the fact that it is used much more frequently on women than on men.

Event time: 2009-05-09 (07:00-09:00)

“MSF donates ECT accessories to Govt Psychiatric Hospital”

(Published: Feb 26, 2009 04:53 PM)
A newspaper from the disputed territory of Kashmir reports that “Médecins Sans Frontières” (MSF) also called Doctors without Borders is donating an electroshock machine to this very poor region. MindFreedom International expresses its opposition.

Kashmir Location

(Published: Feb 26, 2009 04:46 PM)
An image of the location of Kashmir, where Doctors without Borders donated ECT equipment in 2009.

“Are We Really Okay with Electroshocking Toddlers?”

(Published: Feb 02, 2009 03:00 PM)
In this article for the Huffington Post, Bruce Levine explores the ethics of subjecting children to ECT.

Electroshock Forced on Children and Involuntary Adults

(Published: Jan 30, 2009 07:20 PM)

“Child Shock Therapy”

(Published: Jan 27, 2009 01:26 PM)
In this article Eleni Hale describes the rise of ECT on very young children.

WHO opposes involuntary electroshock

(Published: Aug 21, 2008 04:41 PM)
MindFreedom spoke out to the World Health Organization against the use of electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject. As a result, in a WHO manual about the law and mental health, WHO came out in writing against involuntary electroshock. Here is the quote and citation.

“Adverse psychological effects of ECT”

(Published: Aug 05, 2008 05:41 PM)
This paper, by Lucy Johnstone, studies the negative emotional experiences suffered by some individuals who undergo ECT. [Journal of Mental Health (1999) 8, 1, 69-85]

Study Says Electroshock During Pregnancy Is Dangerous to the Baby

(Published: Jun 02, 2008 12:57 PM)
A 2007 study found that electroshock during pregnancy can cause brain damage to the fetus.

Protest in Quebec in May 2008 of electroshock

(Published: May 15, 2008 03:57 PM)

Photo of protest in Ottawa, Canada on 11 May 2008 of electroshock

(Published: May 13, 2008 10:10 AM)
Sue Clark provided this photo of some of the protesters of electroshock on 11 May 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

May 2008 Protests of Electroshock

(Published: May 03, 2008 08:20 AM)
Electroshock — also known as electroconvulsive therapy — was protested by MindFreedom members in Cork, Ireland; Ottawa, Canada; Montreal, Canada. Here are brief reports from each.

Gathering in Montreal to Ban ECT

(Published: Apr 29, 2008 01:27 PM)
The Quebec Committee to ban ECT is honoring Mother’s Day with a gathering to say NO to ECT.

Event time: 2008-05-10 (12:00-14:00)

New Zealand court “quashes” psychiatrist du Fresne attempt to silence survivor of her own forced electroshock

(Published: Mar 20, 2008 10:19 PM)
When New Zealand psychiatrist du Fresne tried to stop a TV station from interviewing a survivor of her own forced electroshock, the public was outraged. A court ruled that Dr. du Fresne had no legal leg to stand on.

New Zealand court ruling against psychiatrist Stephanie du Fresne.

(Published: Mar 15, 2008 11:18 AM)
New Zealand psychiatrist Stephanie du Fresne tried to stop one of her patients from speaking out on national television about involuntary electroshock administered by the doctor. A High Court in New Zealand “quashed” Dr. Fresne’s request, and here’s the court ruling.

Psychiatrist tries to silence forced electroshock survivor

(Published: Mar 15, 2008 11:10 AM)
In New Zealand, a psychiatrist, Stephanie du Fresne, was administering involuntary electroshock (also known as electroconvulsive therapy). During an outing the recipient of the electroshock went to a TV station and got on national television about her human rights abuse. Dr. du Fresne filed a complaint against the television station, claiming the TV station was violating the right of her allegedly-insane patient to “informed consent” about appearing on national television. On 7 February 2008, a New Zealand High Court “quashed” the psychiatrist’s attempt to stifle free speech.

NY State New Guidelines on Forced Electroshock

(Published: Oct 06, 2007 10:53 AM)
Apparently in response to the state-wide outrage following MindFreedom human rights alerts about two individuals slated for forced electroshock, NY State has issued new “guidelines” about use of involuntary electroshock over the wishes of the subject. MindFreedom’s response: No Means No.

Call for ECT to be Banned

(Published: Sep 10, 2007 09:50 PM)
This is a link to a YouTube video by MindFreedom member Sue Clark-Wittenberg who says ECT should be banned.

Evidence of Electroshock Harm

(Published: Sep 10, 2007 09:46 PM)
This is a YouTube link to a video with Steven Wittenberg speaking on how ECT harmed his wife Sue.

Summary of Simone D. Victory Over Forced Electroshock

(Published: Aug 30, 2007 12:12 PM)
Activist Laura Ziegler gives an overview of events this past month as the New York Office of Mental Health gave nine (9) last-minute electroshocks to Simone D., before her attorneys finally won a court battle on 28 August 2007 for her right to say “no” to forced electroshock.

Another victory against forced electroshock. Simone D. wins!

(Published: Aug 28, 2007 03:00 PM)
28 August 2007 update: The attorneys for “Simone D.” announced today that her planned forced electroshock in a New York State psychiatric institution has been halted because of a new court ruling they won this morning! MindFreedom had issued a human rights alert to say “no” to Simone D.’s forced electroshock. Next step: End all involuntary electroshock in New York State!

A writer on electroshock

(Published: Jul 21, 2007 01:13 PM)
A writer reflects on how electroshock has impacted memory. This anonymous piece was posted on the excellent blog by Philip Dawdy, called Furious Seasons.

Creedmoor Psychiatric Center

(Published: Jul 07, 2007 02:27 PM)
This is a link to the official web site for Creedmoor Psychiatric Center which is a public facility based in Queens City, New York and run by the New York Office of Mental Health.

Attorney loses battle to stop Simone D forced electroshock

(Published: Jul 07, 2007 12:28 PM)
2 July 2007 update: Simone D. has had more then 200 forced electroshocks. The State of New York went to court to give even more. Simone D.’s attorney, Dennis Feld, fought valiantly. But the courts agreed to order even more forced electroshock. Electroshock is also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Stop New York State from Forcibly Shocking Simone D!

(Published: Jul 07, 2007 12:16 PM)
Info and alerts to resist the State of New York order for even more forced electroshock of Simone D., who has experienced more than 200 involuntary electroshocks (also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT).

Court order for more foced electroshock of Simone D.

(Published: Jul 07, 2007 12:16 PM)
You may download a PDF of the Appellate Division court order for more forced electroshock of Simone D. Says her attorney Dennis Feld, “The opinion reflects the split in the Court: Three Justices affirmed the trial court’s order authorizing the 30 additional shocks. Two Justices dissented and voted to reverse and remand for a new hearing, one in which an independent expert might be appointed to report and testify. The Court of Appeals affirmed the majority’s decision. “

Psychiatry: A fraudulent and dangerous practice.

(Published: May 14, 2007 09:40 PM)
New Zealand newspaper covers electroshock hazards.

Toronto: “Stop Shocking Our Mothers and Grandmothers”

(Published: May 14, 2007 05:57 PM)
Participant at Toronto protest on Mothers Day 2007 of electroshock of mothers and grandmothers.

Report from Montreal protest by Hélène Grandbois

(Published: May 14, 2007 03:55 PM)

Toronto Mother’s Day Electroshock Protest Successful

(Published: May 14, 2007 02:53 PM)
Here’s a report from Don Weitz, one of the organizers of the Toronto protest of electroshock on Mother’s Day, 13 May 2007.

A Mind to End Shock Therapy

(Published: May 07, 2007 03:35 PM)
A newspaper article in the Toronto Star in Canada quotes several electroshock activists about the idea of ending electroshock.

Mother’s Day 2007: Toronto, Montreal and Ireland all protest electroshock.

(Published: May 05, 2007 02:00 PM)
Toronto, Montreal and MindFreedom Ireland all protested electroshock on Mother’s Day 2007. Here is background, announcements, press release and posters, along with links to reports. MindFreedom International endorsed these peaceful protests of electroshock.

Toronto, Montreal & Ireland 2007 protest electroshock!

(Published: Apr 20, 2007 09:51 PM)
Info about Toronto protest of electroshock on Mother’s Day 13 May 2007.

PDF of poster for Toronto anti-electroshock protest

(Published: Apr 20, 2007 09:44 PM)
On Mother’s Day 13 May 2007 activists in Toronto are protesting electroshock.

Mother’s Day Protest of Electroshock

(Published: Apr 20, 2007 09:32 PM)
MindFreedom endorses this important protest in Toronto, Canada of forced electroshock.

Event time: 2007-05-13 (07:00-09:00)

Forced electroshock to be debated at New York State High Court

(Published: Apr 12, 2007 08:44 PM)
31 May 2007: Receiving hundreds of forced electroshocks for years against the expressed wishes of the subject is becoming the “norm” for some mental health clients in New York State psychiatric institutions, says attorney Dennis Feld. In this news release Mr. Feld announces he will be arguing for the right of his client — Simone D. — to resist more forced electroshock in a New York State High Court.

Electroshock in India: News Analysis

(Published: Apr 01, 2007 10:35 AM)
On 1 April 2007 — April Fools Day — in the city of Pune in India, a mental health center held a major event promoting electroshock. The organizers of the promotion covered up hazards about electroshock and gave false information. MindFreedom has a sponsor group in Pune, Center for Advocacy in Mental Health, a project of Bapu Trust. Advocates from Bapu Trust attended the shock promotion event, and here is their news analysis.

New Zealand TV Station Squashes Censorship by Shock Doctor

(Published: Mar 26, 2007 08:44 AM)
When a woman who had experienced forced electroshock told her story on a New Zealand television news show, the doctor who had given the involuntary electroshock filed a formal complaint with the TV show, claiming it was the journalist who had violated the woman’s informed consent.

TV3 Decision on Censorship of Forced Shock Survivor

(Published: Mar 26, 2007 07:37 AM)
Here is the actual ruling on 26 March 2007 by TV3 of New Zealand squashing a complaint by the doctor who had given Julie Simmonds forced electroshock. The doctor, Dr. Stephanie du Fresne, claimed that it was TV3 that was violating Julie’s rights by airing her story! TV3 found that the doctor’s claim was “inconsistent with the operation of a free and democratic society.”

Download Free PDF of Leonard Roy Frank Electroshock Quotationery

(Published: Feb 07, 2007 04:13 PM)
An Electroshock Quotationary edited by psychiatric survivor Leonard Roy Frank is available as a free PDF download.

“When Is Shock Therapy OK?”

(Published: Nov 04, 2006 10:21 AM)
An editorial column by Ken Braiterman on ECT in the Concord Monitor that mentions MindFreedom.

The Electroshock Quotationary: New, Free Web Book

(Published: Jul 04, 2006 03:00 AM)
Leonard Roy Frank is a survivor of forced electroshock, a long-time human rights activist, an expert editor of quotations, and a passionate MindFreedom supporter. Here is Leonard’s news release about his new book of quotations available online for free.