Don’t shock John Kelly – letter

August 6, 2007

James Bopp
Executive Director
Rockland Psychiatric Center
140 Old Orangeburg Road
Orangeburg, NY 10962
Email: RocklandPC@omh.state.ny.us

Dear Mr. Bopp,
As an insulin shock survivor and antipsychiatry activist, I am writing to urge you not to authorize electroshock (“ECT”) for John Kelley, who is currently incarcerated in your psychiatric facility. I understand that you and the New York Office of Mental Health have authorized a series of electroshocks for Mr. Kelly without his informed consent, against his will. As you may be aware, administering any medical or psychiatric treatment to a patient without his/her informed consent constitutes assault under most criminal codes – it’s also a serious violation of medical ethics. Apparently, it’s ok to forcibly shock people like John Kelley and Simone D against their will in New York State. I strongly disagree – it is not ok, it is shameful.

I wish to point out that electroshock is an extremely invasive, hi-risk psychiatric procedure that should have been banned years ago. Why? Because it has already harmed many thousands of citizens in the United Sates and other countries including Canada where I live. More specifically, electroshock has permanently traumatized, brain- damaged, and ruined the careers and lives of several close friends, acquaintenances and activists. This so-called “safe and effective treatment” always causes permanent memory loss and brain damage. For documentation, I recommend you read the recently published journal article by Dr. Harold Sackeim and others (“The Cognitive Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Community Settings”, Neuropsychopharmacology, 2007), as well as the shock panel report and personal testimony of shock survivors posted on this website http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca. There are no therapeutic benefits of electroshock.

Forced electroshock is torture. I urge you to do what is right, ethical and humane – do not electroshock John Kelly.
Sincerely,
Don Weitz
Co-founder, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto, Ontario M4R 2G3

C: Darby Penney, New York Office of Mental Health
David Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International
Leonard Roy Frank, electroshock survivor, editor and author
Peter R. Breggin, MD, psychiatrist and author
John Friedberg, MD, neurologist and author
Ronald Bassman, PhD, psychologist and author

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