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Originally posted by Dontshootthemessanger
reply to post by riley
I made an account just to comment on this, and will probably slink back into the shadows of lurkerdom when I've had my say. (Took me forever to figure out a user-name, and I misspelled it! It does look different on this side though.)
I don't understand using pain an a deterrent. Oh, I'm sure it works, and probably faster than redirection techniques. But that doesn't make it ethical. The people delivering the shocks must have lost all their empathy. Or maybe repetition makes it easier. Or perhaps they really think they're doing the right thing, since the order came from the boss. I don't know.
Now, there were lots of things I disagreed with during my stint in group homes. Like somebody pointed out earlier, instead of trying to help clients work through issues and come to a place in their life where things are tolerable, they just drug everybody up within an inch of their brains. Some people need 'em, some don't. It's not as individualized as doctors make it out to be. Frankly, a lot of the peoplwww.disabilitymuseum.org... caught in the system don't have family members or strong advocates, and fall by the wayside. It's enough for society that they have a roof over their head and a full stomach, right? (That last sentence was sarcasm, btw.)
This reminds me of "Christmas in Purgatory". I thought those days were over. Sorry for the rant, I'm done!
Device Classification Name device, aversive conditioning
510(K) Number K911820
Device Name GED (GRADUATED ELECTRONIC DECELERATOR
BEHAVIOR RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.
240 laban st.
providence, RI 02909
Contact maureen fogarty
Regulation Number 882.5235
Classification Product Code
Date Received 04/24/1991
Decision Date 12/05/1994
Decision substantially equivalent (SE)
Classification Advisory Committee Neurology
Review Advisory Committee Neurology
Reviewed by Third Party No
Combination Product No
Why Can't Massachusetts Shut Matthew Israel Down?
In Massachusetts, Matthew Israel's critics have been trying to put him out of business for more than two decades. The first major battle took place in 1985—before Israel even started using shocks—after a 22-year-old student named Vincent Milletich died while in restraints at one of Israel's homes. The state Office for Children tried to close down Israel's facility, but he fought back with a lawsuit and a PR blitz. (For example, much as he does with journalists today, Israel showed videos of his methods to pioneering behaviorist B.F. Skinner, who was famously opposed to the use of painful punishments known as "aversives." Skinner then issued a statement saying that such extreme patients might require aversive therapy.) In the end, Judge Ernest Rotenberg, for whom the facility is now named, decreed that the program could stay open, though Israel would have to obtain court approval every time he wanted to use aversive therapy on a student.
In the mid-1990s, Massachusetts again tried to close down Israel's program—which by then had started to use electric shocks—and again he prevailed. This time, a judge declared that the state Department of Mental Retardation had waged a "war of harassment" against Israel, accused its commissioner of lying on the witness stand, stripped the agency of its power to regulate Israel's facility, and ordered the state to pay the $1.5 million in legal fees and other costs that Israel had racked up. The commissioner was forced to resign, a cautionary tale for any other state official thinking of taking on Israel.
Meanwhile, a parallel battle over Israel's use of aversives has been fought in the Massachusetts state Legislature. Since the late 1980s, a bill to ban their use has been introduced in every legislative session—and every time it has failed to become law. Emotional hearings on the pros and cons of aversives have become a regular ritual. Critics (professors, disability activists, mental-health experts) testify against the use of aversive therapy, while parents plead with lawmakers not to pass the bill, insisting that without aversives their children's self-abusive behavior will escalate.
In this battle, Israel has the perfect ally: state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, whose nephew Brandon has been in Israel's care since age 12; Brandon, now 27, is one of Israel's most challenging cases, with a long record of extremely self-injurious behavior. This is the same Brandon who Israel once shocked more than 5,000 times, prompting him to make a new device that could deliver much more pain. Nevertheless, Brandon's parents credit Israel with saving their son's life, and his uncle has helped ensure that no bill banning aversives becomes law.
So in a bird-in-hand strategy, state Senator Brian A. Joyce, whose district includes the Rotenberg Center, has introduced two new bills that—while not proposing an outright ban on aversives—would regulate their use much more strictly. "The harsh reality is we're doing this to innocent children in Canton, Massachusetts," he says. "If this treatment were used on terrorist prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, there would be worldwide outrage."
Originally posted by riley
Teen tied and shocked for hours; mom calls it "torture"
(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Video of a disabled teen tied down and given painful electric shocks for seven hours should be made public, the youth's mother said, so everyone can see what she describes as the "torture" her son went through at the controversial school, the only one in Massachusetts that uses pain to treat its clients.
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'm shocked this still happens in modern America. I thought the Shock Therapy insanity when out in the 60's and into the 70's. I didn't realize they were still strapping people down to shock them into a stupor in the name of behavioral modification.
Geeze.... it's the Dark Ages out there in some places. What's next? A Lobotomy if the kid does something worse??
The UN's special rapporteur on torture has made a formal approach to the US government over a special-needs school near Boston that inflicts electric shocks on autistic children as a form of behavioural control.
About half of the school\'s students carry the generators that are triggered by care assistants using remote-controlled zappers, which then send a electric charge to skin pads on the children\'s arms and legs.
The Guardian is one of very few media organisations that have witnessed the school in operation.
In recent weeks opposition to the controversial electro-shock treatment has reached fever pitch. A rally demanding the end of the practice was due to be held outside the Massachusetts state house at noon Saturday followed by a march at the JRC itself at 3.30pm.
Outrage over the school was taken to a new level in April when for the first time the public was able to see video footage of a child being subjected to the shocks.
The video, played in a Boston courtroom, showed then 18-year-old Andre McCollins being given 31 shocks over a seven-hour period in 2002.
In the video Andre can be heard screaming and shouting "Help me. Help me." He is restrained with belts, face down on a board as the electricity is discharged into his body.