my letter re Washington Post pro-shock article

July 24, 2007Letters Editor
The Washington Post

Dear Editor,
Shirley Wang’s article on electroshock (“ECT”) is one of the most psychiatrically biased and incompetently researched pieces I’ve read in some time. (“Shock value”, July 24/07). In her article, there is no mention that informed consent to “ECT” is routinely violated, a cruel sham; no mention of brain damage which electroshock always causes; no serious discussion of permanent memory loss which is very common and tragic; no mention of emotional trauma and terror; no mention that the dose of electric current during most shock treatments is approximately 200 volts; no mention that many hundreds of people have died soon after undergoing this “lifesaving treatment”. Wang’s article is also misleading and gives false hope by repeating the psychiatric lie that shock can prevent suicide. This article is also seriously flawed because it doesn’t point out the sexist and ageist factors in electroshock–women are its main targets, two to three times more women than men are electroshocked, particularly elderly women 60 years and older.
Too bad Wang and The Post are promoting this psychiatric atrocity instead of educating and warning its readers about its many destructive effects and safe, non-medical alternatives. I will not be silent until electroshock is universally abolished.
Don Weitz,
Insulin shock survivor, co-founder of Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault
Toronto

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2 comments so far

  1. Dr Shock on

    Well just read another article that ECT doesn’t damage the brain.
    No structural brain abnormalities have been detected after ECT with conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Even with Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) which has been shown to be sensitive to focal tissue changes associated with compromise of energy metabolism in cerebral ischemia and after prolonged ictal activity no definite signal abnormalities on qualitative and quantitative analysis was found. Please read:
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/nres/2007/00000029/00000003/art00007?token=0056155f9044a2f653b2a2d3a7c4e7247704f7e41225f406a532c40415248556744446e16ee71b9e09e167#avail

  2. Colin on

    It’s ludicrous to think that MRI’s give a full and complete picture of the human brain, anyone with half a brain knows how little is understood about neurology.

    Dr. Shock, what is your real reason for supporting this supposed therapy? Because it’s cheap? Easy? Because it allows you to give up your responsibility to your patient?

    The article states quite clearly, they don’t find any ‘structural’ damage due to ECT -HOWEVER- “cognitive side effects may occur after electroconvulsive therapy” – Therefore, logically, the two have no true connection. How can one occur and not the other???

    It’s B.S.


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