Note from CCHR: Electroshock is the “treatment” psychiatrists employ when their first line of “treatment”— drugs—fail to work. And the drugs inevitably fail to work, simply because they are no more effective than placebo, yet have side effects rivaling the most hardcore street drugs. In the U.S. alone, more than 100,000 people are electroshocked every year, and the majority of them are elderly. But psychiatrists also electroshock two of the other most vulnerable subjects; pregnant women and children. Hard to believe, but true. And what’s more, psychiatrists are pushing harder than ever for increases in electroshock treatment, recently lobbying the U.S. FDA to downgrade electroshock machines from the most high risk category of device (Class III) to Class II. They failed. And the reason they failed is because the facts were made known by CCHR and other experts who testified before the FDA. You can read about this FDA hearing here: https://www.cchrint.org/2011/01/31/fda-advisory-panel-recommends-electroshock-device-too-risky-for-reclassification/
The article below talks about the administration of electroshock without the consent of the patient. But even in cases where the patient does give consent, do we really believe they or their family members are getting enough information to make an informed choice? Are they told psychiatrists still have no idea how electroshock “works?” That if they imagine sticking their finger in a light socket, then multiply that current by about 3-4 times, they will have an idea of the amount of electricity that will be sent searing through the brain? Are they told they could lose their memories, often permanently? Not remember their own wedding or where they were born, or their own children? That side effects also include death? Or how about the fact that electroshock treatment was born in Italy, 1938, when psychiatrist Ugo Cerletti saw pigs being made more docile before slaughter so decided to give it a shot on humans? Are those facts in the consent form?
To get the facts about Electroshock, watch this video:
Electroshock: It’s Not Treatment, It’s Torture
The Irish Independent, March 16, 2011
By Eilish O’Regan
Almost one in eight patients who were given electric shock treatment over the course of a year were either unable or unwilling to give consent to the controversial procedure.
A higher number of women (62.5pc) than men were given the electroconsvulsive treatment (ECT) without consent, the 2009 monitoring report from the Mental Health Commission watchdog revealed.
The majority of the 373 treatments were given to patients who gave their agreement — but the law does allow for it to be given in cases where a person is “unwilling or unable to do so”.
However, where ECT is given without the permission of the patient, the treating doctor has to ensure he or she gets a second opinion from another psychiatrist who must agree it is the best course. They do not need to get the consent of family members.
The report, which looked at 66 mental health centres, found that there were 34 fewer programmes of ECT administered in 2009 compared to 2008.
St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin, the largest of the centres, had the highest number of ECT treatments (126) and accounted for one third of all cases.
St Brigid’s Hospital in Ballinasloe had the second highest number followed by the Department of Psychiatry in Waterford Regional Hospital.
The patients were mostly suffering from depression while others had schizophrenia and mania.
The main reason for resorting to electric shock treatment was the patient’s lack of response to medication.
Other reasons included risk of suicide and physical deterioration and where a “rapid response” was deemed necessary in a significant number of the patients.
An improvement was seen in the vast majority of patients but no improvement was seen in 5.4pc of those treated. It was stopped in a small number of cases due to complications.
Irish psychiatrists have differing views on the merits of the treatment with some saying it should be stopped because of complications such as risk of memory loss.
If ECT is recommended, the patient is given a general anaesthetic and medication to relax their muscles. Electrodes are then placed on the person’s head and a pulse of electricity passed through the brain which will set off a fit or seizure.
The patient normally has around six to 12 sessions with two administered a week. Electricity changes the chemical composition of the patient’s brain and lifts them out of their low mood.
‘Coronation Street’ actress Beverly Callard credits ECT with rescuing her from severe depression after she was unresponsive to medication.
The College of Psychiatry in Ireland has proposed changes in selecting a doctor asked for a second opinion. The doctor should be part of a panel set up by the Mental Health Commission and would also have to consult with others treating the patient.
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