Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Blowing the whistle on shocking the elderly (see site)

In 2001, psychiatrist Jaime Paredes was forced to resign from Vancouver’s Riverview Hospital after courageously exposing the fact that large numbers of elderly patients were electroshocked at that hospital for several years. His critical letter to the B.C. Ministry of Health sparked an “independent” investigation, which was another government whitewash; the B.C. report proposed only cosmetic-technical changes in “ECT”; it never questioned the ethics of shocking elderly people or electroshock and its brain-damaging effects itself. Although fewer elderly patients may be shocked at Riverview today, in 2007 (according to B.C.Ministry of Health statistics) 40% of patients shocked were 65 years and older, 85 were women in their 80s or 90s. The B.C. Ministry of Health’s statistics also reveal that at least 2 times as many women as men have been shocked for many years – a common finding or ratio in other provinces and states where “ECT” is administered. Electroshock is still administered in Riverview and hundreds of other hospitals across Canada and the United States.
To date, no other Canadian psychiatrist, neurologist, or medical doctor has publicly criticized electroshock, none has called for a moratorium or ban., and no provincial or territorial government has called for public hearings.