Shocking Quotes

“If the body is the temple of the spirit, the brain may be seen as the inner sanctum of the body, the holiest of places. To invade, violate and injure the brain, as electroshock unfailingly does, is a crime against the spirit and a desecration of the soul.”
– Leonard Roy Frank, electroshock survivor/activist/author/editor (1991)

“The escalating rate of shocking the elderly is one reason why I have come out in reent years for a complete ban on the treatment. The elderly are less able to defend themselves against shock treatment, and their brains are more susceptible to devastating damage.”
-Dr. Peter Breggin, in phone interview with Don Weitz (March 1996)

“…informed consent for ECT becomes a mirage. …I now endorse public efforts to ban ECT. The banning of ECT should be supported by all concerned mental health professionals.”
– Dr. Peter Breggin, Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (1997, p.156)

“Electro Shock Therapy – a device that might be said to do the work of the sleeping pill, the electric chair, and the torture rack. It’s a clever little procedure, simple. quick, nearly painless it happens so fast, but no one wants another one. Ever.”
-Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)

“Electroshock is violence”
– Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General and human rights advocate – invited address to the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, New York City (May 1983)

“Well, 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. It’s a bum turn, Hotch, terrible.”
– Ernest Hemingway in A.E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, 1967 [A few days after being released from the Mayo Clinic following a second ECT series. Hemingway killed himself with a shotgun.] – reprinted by Leonard R. Frank, Influencing Minds, p.161.

“Since the time I had electroshock which was 33 years ago, I have problems with permanent memory loss, problems with concentrating and learning anything new…Electroshock is brutal, unethical, torture…a crime against humanity.”
– Sue Clark, shock survivor-activist, written testimony read at Inquiry into Psychiatry, public hearings in Toronto (April 9, 2005)

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