Washington University in St. Louis Shocks Pregnant Women

Mark Wrighton, the Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), wrote in the Spring 2017 Washington magazine, “One of the [Leading Together fund raising] campaign’s priorities is to advance human health.”

This is a laudable goal, but it is belied by the University’s strong support of the psychiatric industry and the reprehensible actions of psychiatrists on the university payroll.

The WUSTL interest in Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) and other harmful psychiatric “treatments” [Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)] is not superficial, it is widespread throughout the psychiatric department, and is a primary area of education for medical students.

Approximately 150,000 people get ECT every year in the US, with 2,000 shock treatments being done every year by WUSTL psychiatrists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Complications after treatment usually increase with the age of the patient; small surprise there. WUSTL psychiatrists say that, “ECT is considered a safe treatment modality in pregnant women in whom a number of medications may be associated with risk to the fetus.”

“The main inpatient psychiatry facility has 48 beds and is divided into three locked units — intensive care floor, step-down floor and a geropsychiatry floor. The units are located on the 15th floor of the main Barnes-Jewish teaching hospital and are closely integrated into all of the specialty care inpatient units (e.g., surgery, internal medicine, neurology) of the hospital. The 15th floor also houses an ECT suite where approximately 2,000 treatments are done each year.”

Medical Residents are trained in these procedures. “A major emphasis of our program is intensive clinical training underscoring diagnostic skills, somatic treatments including psychopharmacology, ECT, and experimental procedures such as rTMS and VNS.”

“Residents evaluate patients referred to the Treatment-resistant Depression and Neurostimulation Clinic and work on the ECT service at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, providing ECT consults to the inpatient psychiatric services and to outpatients referred by their outpatient psychiatrist.”

These procedures are subjects of intensive research. “Faculty and staff of the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine conduct federally funded and industry-sponsored research through the Center for Mood Disorders.” — These procedures include ECT, TMS, and VNS.

Dr. Charles Zorumski says, “Our clinical studies are examining the benefits and risks of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in various groups of patients with psychiatric disorders, including the use of ECT as a maintenance therapy.”

Dr. Pilar Cristancho boasts that she won an award in 2008 at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society, 6th Annual Colloquium of Scholars for “Electroconvulsive Therapy for treatment of severe major depression during pregnancy.” She also conducts research for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on pregnant women.

Dr. Michael Jarvis expresses his interest in “suicide and treatments for significant psychiatric illness such as Electroconvulsive Therapy and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.”

ECT can cost between $300 and $2,500 per session, there is apparently no set standard; a primary cost driver would be how much hospital support is required for the patient. With eight as the average number of treatments per patient, this means a course of ECT treatment will cost between $2,400 and $20,000. Medicare allowed charges are roughly $88 per session.

A TMS patient will usually have 20-30 treatments, typically in the range of $400-500 per session for a total cost of about $15,000.

The cost of implanting a VNS device is approximately $30,000 and up.

Predictably, the psychiatrists of WUSTL insist that ECT is safe and effective. Realistically, would you stick your finger in an electrical socket on purpose? Let alone your brain?

A prominent constitutional attorney was presented with a Human Rights Award at the 48th Anniversary celebration of the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). The event, held in Los Angeles on March 4th, included hundreds of guests from around the world honoring the awardees for their work in the field of mental health reform. Among his accomplishments, Constitutional attorney Jonathon W. Emord is currently challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) bizarre and dangerous proposal to reduce the risk classification of the electroshock treatment (ECT) device, which would make the brain-damaging procedure more widely used, including endangering children.

In accepting the award, Mr. Emord said, “ECT devices are a throw-back to an age of primitive torture, of ignorance and barbarism, where bludgeoning those with depression and psychoses into a lack of consciousness and awareness was considered therapeutic. This past year CCHR has done more than any other organization to fight against FDA’s indefensible proposal to make Electroshock Therapy devices far more available for psychiatric use, a move that would expand the horrors and compound the problems facing patients in need…Electroshock must be banned.”

Click here for more information about ECT and other horrifying psychiatric treatments.

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