Archive for February, 2008|Monthly archive page

End Electroshock Now – abstract of keynote address by Don Weitz

A keynote address by Don Weitz
Delivered at the conference Are We Mad? Critical Perspectives on the Canadian Mental Health System, University of Alberta, Edmonton, March 1, 2008

This talk addresses electroshock (“electroconvulsive therapy” or “ECT”) from
the speaker’s antipsychiatry perspective. Electroshock is deconstructed as
unethical– a memory-destroying, brain-damaging, and traumatic psychiatric
procedure that seriously violates people’s human rights and legal rights
including the right to informed consent. His presentation includes a brief
and concise history of resistance against electroshock in Canada and the United States, statistical information highlighting women and the elderly as its major
targets, excerpts of personal testimony from Canadian shock survivors during
public hearings in Toronto, and powerful criticisms from dissident
psychiatrists and other health professionals. Many public protests against
electroshock organized by several antipsychiatry and survivor organizations
in several countries indicate a growing international movement to ban this
so-called “safe and effective treatment” that has already destroyed the
careers and lives of thousands.

Biographical note: Don Weitz is an antipsychiatry and social justice
activist and survivor of insulin shock treatment. He is also co-founder of
the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA)
[], co-founder of the former antipsychiatry
magazine Phoenix Rising, and co-editor of Shrink Resistant: the struggle
against psychiatry in Canada (New Star Books, 1988). He has an M.A. degree
in psychology and is currently writing a book on his activism.