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NEWS: Psychiatric Hospital Ordered to Cease Shocking Patients

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posted on Jan, 9 2005 @ 09:59 AM
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Santa Barbara Superior Court judge Denise deBellefeuille has ruled that a psychiatrist and a psychiatric hospital deceived its patients with regard to the highly controversial practice of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly known as "Shock Therapy." Five years after his treatment, patient Atze Akkerman, a professional musician, still can't remember his wife, his children, or how to play music. The court ordered the hospital to immediately cease providing ECT; the full decision can be seen here.
 



www.cchr.org
California Superior Court Judge rules patients deceived.
Victim says, "I know I am not the only one."

LOS ANGELES: Atze Akkerman was a devoted husband, father and professional musician who after receiving electroshock (shock treatment) could no longer remember his wife of 20 years, his children, or how to play music. In the five years since receiving the brutal treatment, his memory has not returned. Akkerman and his wife filed suit against Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Johnson, who performed the shock, claiming they were negligent and had deceived Mr. Akkerman by withholding from him the dangers of the treatment and misrepresenting that it was "safe and effective."



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This story comes from The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) website; the CCHR is a front organization of the Church of Scientology, and is heavily involved in attempts to prevent continuing barbaric psychiatric practices.

Whatever anyone thinks of this particular church, surely the time has come to put a stop to ECT. As noted in the story, even the guilty practitioner (who has performed shock treatment for over 20 years) admitted that neither he nor anyone else understands how shock treatment works.

As an interesting side note to the story, it transpires that Hemmingway committed suicide after receiving ECT; he said, "What is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? It was a brilliant cure, but we lost the patient."

The same is true, it must be said, for psychiatric medicines; no one understands the brain well enough to even begin to understand the ramifications of giving such powerful medicines, yet they continue to do it anyway. And, worse yet, the companies that manufacture these substances are allowed to advertise them directly to the public.


[edit on 9-1-2005 by Banshee]




posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 02:42 PM
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I'm "bumping" this post because I can't actually find it except in MyATS...perhaps it got lost during the server move?

Or am I the only one who finds the story interesting?



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 02:52 PM
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I'm surprised reading that he got ECT as a treatment to depression.
By the effect of erasing his memory, maybe his depression went away because he couldn't remember what he was depressed about anymore, but thats purely accidental, since memory loss isn't the wanted effect of ECT, but a often occuring byproduct.

Normaly ECT is used for (severe) paranoia, bipolar behaviour(although lithium is usualy all thats needed to fix that) and heavy mental cases(in other words, cases usualy portrayed by guys that think they are napoleon ..).

Anyone know if ECT is a commonly used treatment for depression in the US?



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 02:53 PM
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Mental health care in many countries, including the US is embarassing. Just look at Rosemary Kennedy who died this week. She was born mildly retarded, but her dear Father (a real gem, the more you read) decided to have her undergo a lobotomy at age 23. Prior to that she kept journals, after that she couldn't even speak.

This wasn't in the 1730s it was the early 1940s I believe.

It's difficult for families to have someone they love have a mental problem. Often times they resolve themselves to just ship the person away and let the clinics do what they wish. Much of what has gone on in the 20th century with regard to mental health patients has been damn near human experimentation and I don't believe shock treatment to be any different.

The procedure should be banned. We don't understand the damage it could do, and similar to Kennedy's procedure, we have NO business doing it.



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 03:52 PM
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The same is true, it must be said, for psychiatric medicines; no one understands the brain well enough to even begin to understand the ramifications of giving such powerful medicines, yet they continue to do it anyway

Doctors prescribe psychiatric medecines because they work, as opposed to the bogus methods of scientology.



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Doctors prescribe psychiatric medecines because they work, as opposed to the bogus methods of scientology.


I can only judge from my own experience, and those of others I know. And my experience is just the opposite: Scientology works and psychiatric medecines don't. I'm plenty open-minded enough to consider that Scientology may not be the only thing that works, but I do know from direct experience what doesn't work. I was given about 15 differnet anti-depressants - and, mind you, this was for possible mild depression - none of which did a damn bit of good, and the last of which very nearly drove me to suicide from the withdrawal effects. Going from slightly unhappy to almost suicidal - can anyone in their right mind call that "working"?

I have a 16 year old niece who's currently on anti-psychotic drugs that are so strong she's at risk of organ failure. She's been round & round the "system" for years, yet not a single "expert" has ever been able to help her one iota. No two have ever even agreed about what's wrong with her. (I'm not entirely convinced there was anything wrong with her; there's some evidence that it all started as attention-seeking, but now she's so zombified who can tell?)

Another thing that doesn't work is sitting around talking about it, a la CBT. A complete waste of time, albeit relatively harmless.

To get back to the original point, though, and to answer the question about ECT in the US: I was offered ECT - again, this was for mild depression that hadn't even been definitely diagnosed - literally within 5 minutes of meeting a new psychologist. This was a US Air Force psychologist; they were actually going to put me on a plane to Lackand AFB, Texas, for an all expenses paid trip to have my brain fried. Complete and utter insanity! I ran a mile and will never go near one of those quacks again.

So, say what you like, believe what you want, call Scientology bogus, whatever...just don't give me that line about psychiatry working.

And by the way: getting back into Scientology has blown my depression (or whatever it was) away, and that's with no drugs and in fact no treatment of any kind. I've simply read (or re-read) a couple of books and applied some basic, common-sense principles. I suppose a real skeptic might suggest some sort of placebo effect...but so what? Results are results...



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 04:50 PM
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I am no physician, but I put ECT in the same field as applying leeches or "bleeding" to cure a person.

Ever see the movie Requiem for a Dream"?



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 04:54 PM
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Nurse Ratchett where are my meds?

I thought this method went out of style with the turn of the twentieth century. How barbaric. Its time to end this.



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I am no physician, but I put ECT in the same field as applying leeches or "bleeding" to cure a person.

Ever see the movie Requiem for a Dream"?


Erm, actualy leeches are used in modern science and medicine quite alot



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 04:56 PM
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Call me naive of misinformed but I had not idea that US still was practicing shock treatment to mental patients, I thought that the method was archaic and old fashioned, and on top completely harmful.

I better start reading more on our medical journals because I am completely surprised.



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 09:28 PM
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Yeah marg, it might be better if you put whatever political stuff you've been reading on the back shelf for awhile.
j/k



posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 09:44 PM
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I know you and I have slightly differing viewpoints on the benefits of medication in the use of psychotic breaks
, but I will agree with you on ECT. Who comes up with this stuff? Why on earth would anyone think it is helpful to electrocute sick people? Just because it might work sometimes, doesn't mean anything. I fell down the stairs drunk once, and it actually made my back feel better. Doesn't mean I'm gonna start pushing people with limps down the stairs.



posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 01:02 AM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Call me naive of misinformed but I had not idea that US still was practicing shock treatment to mental patients, I thought that the method was archaic and old fashioned, and on top completely harmful.


Funny, isn't it? If the treatment was actually useful, they'd be shouting it from the rooftops. As it stands, the psychiatric community is remarkably silent on the issue.

I decided to look for some stats, and found this site, created by an ECT survivor.

Here's an excerpt: "FORTY PERCENT of ECT patients (excluding those in Harold Sackeim's research studies) in the state of New York receive ECT under court orders, according to this new survey released by the state. At one hospital in Manhattan, that rate is seventy percent! This is unacceptable. "

And another: "California is one of the few states that requires data collection regarding ECT. Here are statistics from 1989-1994 from the California Department of Mental Health. The APA says that only 1 in 200 have memory loss. The data says it's a little higher...40 TIMES higher!"



posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 01:05 AM
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Court ordered? Damn....

I wasn't aware they still forced it upon people.
I know here in Canada, at least in my area, it's still used, but it's at the discretion of the patient, after they'd been warned of all potential side effects, as well as potential lack of results from the treatment. Don't know why anyone would do it... I remember my Grandpa used to have ECT treatments and it took him a while to recover from them...




posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 01:15 AM
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Just wondering why the Supreme Court had to step in. By the time this matter reached this level, it must have been eons. What ever happened to to the Medical Association ? Aren't mental institutions and the doctors there subject to disciplinary measures from the Medical Association ?



posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 01:35 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I am no physician, but I put ECT in the same field as applying leeches or "bleeding" to cure a person.


Um medical leeches are still used to day and work quite well thank you.

ECT does work in rare instances, but is not a mainstream treatment anymore. In fact I thought it was a federal law, but maybe its state by state that you have to have a court order to do it on any patient. This guy did not sound like a candidate and the hospital should be sued for this excessive use.



posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 01:48 AM
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ECT is STILL being used in both Canada and the United States. ECT is used primarily on patients who are extremely depressed or even catatonic. Furthermore, it is used as a adjunct to some fairly heavy psychopharmaceuticals. For reasons that aren't exactly clear, ECT has been shown to help "lift" people out of very deep depressions and there are many success stories to ECT therapy.

Today's ECT is NOT the ECT of the 50's or 60's. Today, the electrical stimulation is extremely precise and not the draconian therapy of the past. Keep in mind that this therapy is meant to be used only on patients who have not responded to other therapies with expected results. In a sense, it is a therapy of last resorts.
With this in mind, ECT should not be demonized.

Often ECT is characterized as a form of electrical lobotomy. It is not a lobotomy.
It is a therapy whose side effects most frequently include short term memory loss, unsteadiness, headache and nausea. Of course, as with many drug therapies, Electro Convulsive Therapy can be misused through misdiagnosis or can have more drastic side effects. But, when weighed against catatonia, it is a valid and often beneficial therapy.

I personally would never, ever want to undergo ECT unless the alternative -- catatonia -- meant that I would be a vegetable anyway. ECT is NOT painful as the patients are sedated. Given the choice between possibly being restored to a viable life or simple existence, which would you choose?

Now that said, let us keep in mind that even leeches are being used in modern medicine agaom for their amazing anti clotting benefits. Likewise, there are legitimate uses for ECT.

Here is a description of modern ECT

www.efhmd.medem.com...

[edit on 11-1-2005 by benevolent tyrant]



posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 01:58 AM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Given the choice between possibly being restored to a viable life or simple existence, which would you choose?


I choose to have a living will that states in just such an event, I will have the life support removed, and be allowed to pass with some dignity. I realize others may feel differently.



posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 02:53 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I am no physician, but I put ECT in the same field as applying leeches or "bleeding" to cure a person.

Ever see the movie Requiem for a Dream"?


Umm leeches are being widely used today by Doctors all over north america.



posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 03:03 AM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Likewise, there are legitimate uses for ECT.


You should check the actual text of the court decision. The psychiatrist was forced to admit that no one understands how ECT works.

So how can it possibly be legitimate??



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