Sue Clark’s letter to CBC Ombudsman re shock article


May 16, 2008

Vince Carlin
Ombudsman/CBC Radio and Television

Hello Mr. Carlin.

My name is Sue Clark-Wittenberg and I live in Ottawa. I was featured recently in a CBC article entitled: “Despite criticism, electroshock therapy commonly used in depression”

The article I feel was unfair and biased for severeal reasons:

I. only two lines was devoted to me. It did not mention that I was the director of the International Campaign to Ban Electroshock (ICBE) It did not state that I suffer from permanent memory loss and have a difficult time to learn new things and have I have been free of psychiatry since 1990. Also the article did not mention that I was forced to undergo ECT and that on my 5th ECT my heart stopped. I was l7 years old still classified as a child and that was not mentioned.

The article did not mention that I went to Carleton University in 1995 and I had to discontinue my studies in Ottawa as I could not retain what I was learning. I sent Mark Quinn a CBC reporter who called me all of the above information by email. Mark Quinn only talked to me for a few minutes, it was not an interview at all. I shall forward you the three emails I sent Mr. Quinn so you know he had all of the above information and more.

2. the article is mostly pro-ECT

3. Dr Peter Breggin is calld “Paul Breggin” Paul is not his first name. His name is Dr. Peter Breggin and it does not state he is a psychiatrist, just a doctor. It does not state why ECT should be banned as Dr. Breggin says.

4. The Canadian Psychiatric Association gives false information about ECT.
ECT is not safe nor the ECT machines according to Dr. Peter Breggin, Dr. John
Friedberg, neurologist in the USA, and Dr. John Breeding in Austin Texas.

5. Again the mainstream media treats psychiatric survivors with little or no respect and leaves out the most information we have to give. This article dismisses my claims that ECT always causes brain damage and it does. Dr. Peter R. Breggin a psychiatrist in the USA wrote a book called “Electroshock and Its Brain Disabling Effects”

6. There have been an important ECT study done by Dr. Harold Sackeim in the USA in 2007 that says that ECT damages the brain and this study was not quoted in this article.

7. This was sloppy journalism at its best, whoever wrote this did not do their homework and research the brain damage caused by ECT and there is lots of data out there, one only has to google “brain damage by ECT” and see the evidence for themselves.

8. This story is biased mostly for the side of people having positive views about ECT. Not one ECT survivor except myself were quoted. I could have supplied some phone numbers for CBC of other ECT survivors like myself

9. In this story I am reduced to nothing more than a woman who claims she was brain damaged the rest of the story discredits me in my claim by the other psychiatrists saying ECT is good and safe.

10. CBC must ensure they are producing fair articles that are not biased.

11. I want a reply to my email.


Sue Clark-Wittenberg
International Campaign
to Ban Electroshock (ICBE)
Ottawa (613) 721-1833

“Electroshock is a crime against humanity”


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