Tag Archives: electroshock

In Ireland: No Consent for 12% of those getting electroshocked

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 people being shocked are the elderly. But psychiatrists also don’t exclude pregnant women and children from being electroshocked. 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.

FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Electroshock Machine Too Risky For Reclassification to Less Dangerous Device

The Neurological Devices Advisory Panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), recommended Friday that devices used to deliver shock treatment, also known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) remain in the most high-risk category (Class III), reserved for the most dangerous medical devices and not be downgraded to a lower risk category. In so doing, it recommended that the companies which manufacture ECT devices be required to prove that ECT is both effective and safe in order to remain in use. ECT has long been known to cause serious harm to patients, including extremely severe and permanent memory loss, inability to learn and remember new events, depression, suicide, cardiovascular complications, prolonged and dangerous seizures and even death.

Not the Only Psychiatrist Who Opposes ECT

by Dr. Peter Breggin—The FDA is proposing to move ECT from the high risk category to the medium risk category to avoid the necessity of any testing for safety or efficacy. As a result, ECT would be grandfathered into continued use without ever being tested. This would place ECT in the same category as syringes which no longer need proof of safety or efficacy. The FDA hearings will be held January 27-28, 2011, and I hope some of my more courageous colleagues will attend and testify against approving ECT without testing.
ECT causes closed head injury by means of electrically-induced seizures. There can be no doubt that the treatment causes trauma to the brain. The patient is comatose for several minutes in the recovery room and after a few treatments becomes confused and disoriented. A recent study confirms long-term memory loss and other cognitive deficits, which by definition is dementia. As I review in Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (2008, pp. 237-241), large animal studies have shown brain cell death using ECT dosages less than those routinely inflicted today. My website has a very extensive ECT bibliography that can be downloaded for free. It includes a variety of the original large animal ECT research projects.

Electroconvulsive Therapy: Will The FDA Whitewash It?

For decades the FDA has allowed electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to be used without requiring any proof of safety or efficacy. The machines and the treatment has been “grandfathered” into use rather than tested. A few years ago the FDA proposed to test the treatment but heavy pressure from the American Psychiatric Association caused the agency to reverse itself. ECT remains untested and widely used. Imagine that — the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t want an obviously dangerous treatment to be tested at all. It just wants psychiatrists left alone to inflict it upon hapless patients. The sad truth is that psychiatry has always promoted brain-damaging treatments, including lobotomy, electroshock and toxic chemical substances. In the 1970s I conducted an intensive international campaign to stop the resurgence of lobotomy and others forms of psychosurgery, and if my campaign had not been successful, lobotomy would have once again become widely accepted within contemporary psychiatry. Using media citations and other sources, that campaign and its success is documented in The Conscience of Psychiatry: The Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, MD.