Downgrading the brain injury risks from shock therapy is unjustified
Attorney Jonathan W. Emord’s opinion piece in The Washington Times (10/12/2016) says it all — the US Food and Drug Administration wants to re-classify electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) machines so that they are more readily available to harm vulnerable people by saying they are less risky than they have been.
The FDA is pushing to de-classify the ECT machine from a high-risk Class III to a Class II category, which would make it “safe” by putting a warning label on the machine, instead of actually proving that it is not harmful.
As Emord says, “All patients who receive ECT suffer memory loss and cognitive impairment with many, if not most, experiencing severe memory loss, forgetting much of their lives before treatment (including who their children are, their spouse, and learned skills such as how to play the piano.)”
ECT should be banned completely.
While psychiatrists deny that electric shock causes permanent memory loss and brain damage, neurologists and anesthesiologists know that it does. Psychiatrists affectionately call an ECT treatment a “shake and bake” session, but there is nothing affectionate about it.
In 1976 California banned the use of shock on children under the age of twelve; in 1993 Texas prohibited ECT on children up to sixteen; in 1997 Texas got it together once again to restrict the use of ECT on persons over age 65. How about the rest of the country getting it together to ban ECT altogether now!
ECT is often used on a vulnerable patient population — poor, elderly, involuntarily committed patients, and pregnant women (as described in a prior newsletter.)
The FDA tried previously, unsuccessfully, in 1990 to re-classify ECT machines from Class III to Class II. They were trying to limit the disastrous side effects by recommending smaller current intensities. But the whole point of ECT is to use enough electric current to force the patient into a seizure; although some psychiatrists have claimed that the “therapeutic effect” does not occur until the amount of electricity exceeds the seizure threshold. They still don’t even know how it “works,” and continue to experiment with it.
Just keep sticking your finger into the light socket until you fall down kicking and screaming, and let us know if you feel any better.
If you know someone who was abused by electroshock therapy, or who has witnessed such abuse, have them submit an abuse report.