28 April 2015

ECT Vigil: Press Release




Date: May 16, 2015
Time: 12:00 noon until 3:00 pm
Place: Grey Nuns Community Hospital, 1100 Youville Drive West (3015 62 Street NW), Edmonton, Canada

On May 16, 2015, from noon until 3:00 pm, there will be a demonstration at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital against Shock Treatment. The demonstration will be part of a coordinated international event involving over thirty cities in nine countries on the same day. This historic event has been organized by three shock survivors: Ted Chabasinski from California, Debra Schwartzkopff from Oregon, and Mary Maddock from Ireland. Protests will begin in Rotorua, New Zealand, early on May 16, and end many hours later at an evening forum to be held in New York City.

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, who has written extensively about shock (also known as electroconvulsive “therapy,” or ECT) says that , “No one should be given shock treatment.” He cites many studies that show that ECT invariably causes brain damage, memory loss, and cognitive malfunction.  Furthermore, he notes that shock is never really voluntary,  both because of the coercive nature of being on a psychiatric ward, and because the patient after the first shock becomes docile and too confused to resist.

Doctor Breggin says that ECT “works” by damaging the brain.  Each treatment results “in a temporary coma and often flatlining of the brain waves, which is a sign of impending brain death... Abundant evidence indicates that ECT should be banned.”

One survivor has written:
Electroshock robbed me of my history and my future. I lost most memories of motherhood, of my twenty-eight year marriage, and my twenty-five year career as a trauma nurse, which is now over.  I know I am not alone.  This must be stopped.

A Canadian woman wrote:
After 14 months, I returned home to a family I had no memory of. I didn’t know how to be a mother to my young sons or a wife to my husband.  I had to learn my name, how to speak, do up buttons, brush my teeth, and so on. I didn’t even know my own parents, sisters, brothers.  My social work career and law aspirations vanished.

Shock treatment is a crime against humanity and has no place in civilized society, particularly hospitals under the ethical authority of the Catholic Church.

More information about the Edmonton event can be found here: http://www.albertapsych.net

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