Watchdog says electroshock must be banned, but until this occurs, hospitals are being notified that omitting patient information of how electroshock treatment causes brain-damage and memory loss may constitute consumer fraud.
Until ECT is banned, CCHR intends to investigate and monitor precisely what information is provided to potential ECT patients and their families by electroshock-hospitals, so that such information may be available to regulatory entities and legal counsel for the those harmed by this practice.
CCHR is writing to the more than 400 psychiatric facilities in the U.S. delivering ECT alerting them to the recognized risks that patients must be informed of to protect them and to avoid consumer fraud action being taken against the hospital and psychiatrists administering ECT. As part of a worldwide movement that wants electroshock permanently banned, until this occurs, every known risk of the damaging practice must be disclosed along with all safer, non-physically invasive alternatives that are available.
CCHR’s review of hospital websites offering ECT and electroshock informed consent forms, shows grossly inadequate information, which is misleading to patients. At a time when mental health is so prevalent in the news, better information must be disclosed until this brain-damaging procedure is banned.
Example: Approximately 150,000 people get ECT every year in the US, with 2,000 shock treatments being done every year by Washington University in St. Louis psychiatrists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, who still claim that this abusive treatment is safe and effective in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary. When psychiatrists say ECT is “effective”, they mean the patient feels less depressed; of course, the patient doesn’t feel much of anything anymore, good or bad. In fact, what ECT really does is similar to smacking your thumb with a hammer, making it seem that no other problem is important. (Of course, they give you a general anesthetic to suppress the pain. The body still feels it; shocking, isn’t it?)
So why do they still perform ECT? Because they charge up to $2500 per session; and if you are on Medicare you are a prime candidate for this barbaric “treatment.”
The bottom line is that electroshock should be banned and because, arguably, its use constitutes assault and battery — certainly from a patient’s perspective. It does not belong in any mental health system.
ECT is a brutal practice and people should sign CCHR’s online petition supporting a ban.