my letter re Washington Post pro-shock article
July 24, 2007Letters Editor
The Washington Post
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.
Insulin shock survivor, co-founder of Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault