Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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http://coalitionagainstpsychiatricassault.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

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A fun night of art, music and fundraising!

A fun night of art, music and fundraising!

We welcome you to participate and attend a fun night of fundraising on

January 15th, 2010 at Trinity St. Paul, 427 Bloor St. West from 7-10pm

for PsychOUT: A Conference for Organizing Resistance Against Psychiatry, being held at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto on May 7-8, 2010.

The purpose of this global conference is to provide a forum for psychiatric survivors, mad people, activists, scholars, students, radical professionals, and artists from around the world to come together and share experiences of organizing against psychiatry.

An outstanding social justice activist, feminist and excellent speaker Anna Willats will emcee this fun and entertaining night. We are also proud to feature these outstanding singer-songwriters:

• Social justice activist/feminist Faith Nolan
• Juno Award folksinger Roger Ellis
• Bill Yurick who will sing the anti-Big Pharma song “The Pill Song”
• Parkdale outreach worker/pianist Bob Rose
• Tom Smarda self-taught folksinger who wrote and will sing the “Lubicon Song”
• Erick Fabris and other artists.

Refreshments will be served.

We deeply appreciate and need whatever donations of art or money people can offer.

Admission is $10, $5 for unemployed people.

All proceeds are going to fund major expenses of the PsychOUT Organizing Committee which is organizing PsychOUT,Conference.

For more information, please contact: psychart@psychout.com

Oak Ridge Death of Kulmiye Aganeh

8/19/09
Letters Editor
The Toronto Star

Dear Editor,
Isabel Teotonio’s article re the horrific death of 22-year-old Kulmiye Aganeh is somewhat inaccurate and full of omissions. (“Mother wants answers as to why son died.” Aug. 17). First, Kulmiye’s mother Ikram Said did in fact listen to and act on his pleas for a lawyer – to say she “never listened” is not true. Second, Kulmiye was not “schizophrenic”; a psychiatrist concluded he was not “mentally ill”. Kulmiye was understandably angry at being fraudulently labeled, drugged and locked up in psychoprisons like Whitby Mental health Centre and the Oak Ridge hellhole of Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre. Third, Kulmiye “collapsed” and died within minutes after guards forcibly injected (overdosed) him with 85 milligrams of zuclopenthixol, another dangerous neuroleptic. Fourth, racism as a major factor,raised by several human rights activists at the conference, was not mentioned.The Midland OPP’s criminal investigation into this homicide and the subsequent inquest will probably be another whitewash.
Don Weitz
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto,Ontario M4R 2G3

The International Campaign to Ban Electroshock (the ICBE) supports the CAPA vigil-memorial for Esmin Green who died tragically in New York.

Esmin Green will not be forgotten ever. Esmin was tortured by psychiatry and its neglect towards her. Esmin need not have died at all but she did. Why?
Esmin waited for over 24 hours in an emergency room and no one took notice of her being physically ill and then falling over onto the floor. She died and still no one took notice. This is an injustice! This is abuse! This is neglect! This is criminal what happened to Esmin.

Psychiatry is notorious for torturing people and they have been doing this for over 100 years now.
Psychiatry tortures people with their toxic drugs, their brain damaging electroshock, their labelling of people with bogus mental illnesses that do not exist, and being stigmatized with these so called labels, with restraints, and locking people up against their will.
In Ontario, CTO or otherwise known as Community Treatment orders still exists today whereby psychiatric survivors are forced to take toxic psychiatric drugs in the community or they are forced back into a psychiatric facility. This is social control of the people of Ontario.
Psychiatry is the biggest medical fraud out there today. Psychiatry is dangerous and evil.
Esmin was one of psychiatry’s victims. May we never forget what happened to her. It could happen to me or you or to someone you know.
Psychiatry will be dismantled as it is not gaining the ground it once did as people are becoming aware psychiatry is not a real science it never was
and how psychiatry has a hall of shame as long as highway 401.
Esmin did not deserve to be treated this way. Her human rights were violated.
her dignity was violated, her medical rights were violated and as a human being she was left there to die on a hospital floor with no concern for her at all.
May we take one minute of silence now to remember Esmin.
I thank all of you who have come out and have supported this Esmin Vigil-Memorial today.
Shame! shame on psychiatry – Psychiatry will come tumbling down to its knees.
Millions of people have been tortured by psychiatry.
What happened to Esmin is despicable, unethicial, barbaric, an atrocity and a crime against humanity.
We are not able to be with you all today but we are with you all in spirit.

We remain in solidarity,
Sue Clark-Wittenberg and Steven Wittenberg
directors of the International Campaign to Ban Electroshock
The ICBE in Ottawa

a legal victory over forced drugging!

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22 2009

CONTACT:
Jim Gottstein
907-274-7686
jim.gottstein@psychrights.org

In an important decision issued today, William S. Bigley v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute, http://psychrights.org/States/Alaska/CaseXX/S13116/090522BigleyvAPIsp-6374.pdf, the Alaska Supreme Court significantly advanced psychiatric patients’ constitutional due process rights when the state seeks to force them to take psychiatric drugs against their will.

“One of the things they held,” said Jim Gottstein, President and CEO of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) and the attorney who handled the case, “is that if the State is holding someone in a psychiatric facility, they must provide a feasible alternative to the forced drugging if the alternative satisfies the State’s asserted justification. The State’s only other option is to let the person go.”

The Court also held that in order to allow the person a realistic opportunity to prepare a defense, when filing a forced drugging petition, the State must provide a written statement of the facts underlying the petition, including the reasons for the forced drugging, information about the patient’s symptoms and diagnosis; the medication to be used; the method of administration; the likely dosage; possible side effects, risks and expected benefits; and the risks and benefits of alternative treatments and nontreatment. “This is very important,” Mr. Gottstein said, “because up until now, they just checked a box that said the person was incompetent to decline and the facility wants to drug the person. Then the State comes in with a witness who testifies untruthfully and there is no way to have been prepared to rebut it.”

Equally important, the Court ruled the person’s lawyer must be given access to the person’s medical and psychiatric records in advance of the hearing and adequate preparation time. “The problem is judges have been misled for years that these drugs increase safety and are beneficial to patients,” according to Mr. Gottstein, “The truth is they decrease safety, are ineffective for most, are physically very harmful, and prevent many people from recovering. The evidence on this is clear, but the way these cases have been rushed through without allowing adequate time for a defense, these facts have not normally been revealed to the judges.”

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock. PsychRights is further dedicated to exposing the truth about psychiatric interventions and the courts being misled into ordering people subjected to these brain and body damaging drugs against their will. Extensive information about these dangers, and about the tragic damage caused by electroshock, is available on the PsychRights web site: http://psychrights.org/.

# # #

James B. (Jim) Gottstein, Esq.
President/CEO

Law Project for Psychiatric Rights
406 G Street, Suite 206
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
USA
Phone: (907) 274-7686) Fax: (907) 274-9493
jim.gottstein[[at]]psychrights.org
http://psychrights.org/

PsychRights®
Law Project for
Psychiatric Rights

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging. We are further dedicated to exposing the truth about these drugs and the courts being misled into ordering people to be drugged and subjected to other brain and body damaging interventions against their will. Extensive information about this is available on our web site, http://psychrights.org/. Please donate generously. Our work is fueled with your IRS 501(c) tax deductible donations. Thank you for your ongoing help and support.

The Ottawa ECT protest flyer: ELECTROSHOCK PROTEST MAY 10th, 2009

Hello everyone:

Below is the Ottawa ECT protest flyer:

ELECTROSHOCK PROTEST MAY 10th, 2009 – OTTAWA, ONTARIO 1 p.m –  PARLIAMENT HILL

Meet at the Centennial Flame  FOR MORE INFO CALL SUE:  613-721-1833 see the ICBE website: intcamp.wordpress.com   “events”

The International Campaign to Ban Electroshock (ICBE) is holding its second annual protest against electroshock (ECT)  ECT is still around, it never left.  130 hospitals in Canada continue to give ECT.  ECT is not safe nor are the ECT machines.  A recent study byHarold Sackeim reports that ECT causes brain damage 100% of the time.  People are not being told the truth about ECT.

See Breggin.com for more info.
See the Blog and News section to read this article.

Approximately 14,000 ECTs are given in Ontario yearly.  100,000 Americans get ECT yearly, worldwide it is estimated that 1 to 2 million people get ECT yearly.  Sue Clark-Wittenberg the director of the ICBE had ECT which damaged her.  Sue suffers from permanent memory loss and has difficulty learning new things.   Sue says “I don’t want anyone to go through what I did.  I was tortured”  The ICBE deems ECT to be barbaric, unethical, inhumane, torture and a crime against humanity.  The ICBE is working with others around the world to  help end ECT universally.

Sue (Ma’at) Clark-Wittenberg MFI member

Director, International Campaign to Ban Electroshock (ICBE)

Website URL:  intcamp.wordpress.com

Electroshock is a crime against humanity

CAPA Statement re Shock Machines

Food and Drug Administration Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305 5630 Fishers  Lane, Room 1061 Rockville, MD  20852 Docket Number FDA-2009-N-0392

The Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) strongly opposes the FDA’s intention to reclassify shock (“ECT”) machines from Class-III  (high-risk) to Class-II (low-risk).

CAPA is a grassroots, political action organization of electroshock survivors, psychiatric survivors, health professionals, academics, social justice and antipsychiatry activists; it plans and organizes strategic actions against electroshock and psychiatric drugs – its two priorities. We wish to point out that several CAPA members have undergone electroshock and suffered permanent memory loss and brain damage from this allegedly “safe and effective treatment”. Since its founding over five years ago, CAPA has spoken out against electroshock, organized educational events such as public forums, free public lectures, and nonviolent public protests. CAPA has repeatedly and publicly called for an immediate ban.

CAPA’s continuing resistance to electroshock is based on several scientific facts and the personal testimony of many shock survivors:  Shock machines deliver up to 400 volts of electricity (Cameron, 1994) It has been established to a point of statistical significance that all forms of ‘ECT’ cause brain damage. The FDA has never tested shock machines for medical safety and therapeutic effectiveness. (Andre, 2009) During the shock treatment, electrodes are placed above the temporal lobes, the site of memory function in the brain Every shock treatment causes a grand-mal epileptic seizure. convulsion and coma (Breggin, 1997,1998) Shock treatments cause many devastating effects – particularly brain damage, permanent memory loss, problems in concentration and learning, loss of creativity, and sometimes death. It has destroyed the careers and lives of many (Friedberg, 1977; Breggin, 1998, 2008; Frank, 1990, 2006; Sterling, 2002; Funk, 1998; Report of the Panel, 2005)

Thirty years ago in a report on medical devices, the FDA officially listed 8  “risks to health” including brain damage and memory loss (Federal Register,1979; Andre, 2009) Women and the elderly are very vulnerable and suffer the most severe memory loss and brain damage (Sackeim, 2007); elderly women are the most vulnerable (Burstow, 2006; Weitz, 1997) 2 to 3 times more women than men are electroshocked; women experience electroshock as a form of violence against women (Burstow, 2006a, 2006b)  Shock treatments shorten the life of elderly patients (Black et al, 1989; Breggin, 1997, 2008; Kroessler & Fogel, 1993; Weitz, 1997) Since psychiatrists and other physicians frequently violate the patient’s right to informed consent, shock treatments are generally coercive (Breeding, 2000; Report of the Panel, 2005) Electroshock triggers terror and trauma in most patients. (Breggin, 1998; Report of the Panel, 2005)

Given these facts, we conclude that shock machines pose unacceptably high risks to the health and lives of hundreds of  thousands of people. We urge the FDA not to be pressured by the American Psychiatric Association, which is currently lobbying to reclassify them in Class-II. Until they are banned, all shock machines should remain in Class-III. We also recommend that the FDA start testing shock machines for their medical safety; we are confident they will be proved medically unsafe. As engines of destruction, shock machines have no place in the health care system of the United States and all other countries. They should have been banned long ago.

Dr. Bonnie Burstow, Chair
Dianne Moore Don Weitz Executive Committee,
Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA)

References

Andre, L. (2009). Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You To Know About Shock Treatment. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Black, D.W., Winokur, G., Mohandoss, E., Woolson, R.F. and Nasrallah, A. (1989) “Does treatment influence mortality in depressives? A follow-up of 1076 patients with major affective disorders.” Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 1(3), 165-173.

Breeding, J. (2000). “Electroshock and Informed Consent.” Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 40, 65-79.

Breggin, P. (1997). Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry. New York: Springer Publishing Company. Ch.8 “Electroshock for Depression”, 129-156.; 2nd  edition, 2008.

Breggin, P. (1998). Electroshock: Scientific, Ethical, and Political Issues. International  Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine (11), 5-40.

Burstow, B. (2006a) “Electroshock As a Form of Violence Against Women”, Violence Against Women, vol.12 no.4. 372-392.

Burstow, B. (2006b). “Understanding and Ending ECT: A Feminist Imperative”. Canadian Woman Studies, vol. 25, numbers 1,2, 115-122.

Cameron, D.G. (1994).  “ECT: Sham Statistics, the Myth of Convulsive Therapy, and the Case for Consumer Misinformation”, The Journal of Mind and Behavior, vol.15, numbers 1 and 2, 177-198

Federal Register (November 28, 1979). “Classification of Electroconvulsive Therapy Devices”. Vol.43, No.220, 55729.

Frank, L. (1990). “Electroshock: death, brain damage, memory loss, and brainwashing”. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 489-512.

Frank, L. (2006). The Electroshock Quotationary [online http://endofshock.com.%5D

Friedberg, J. (1977).  Shock treatment, brain damage, and memory loss: a neurological perspective. American Journal of Psychiatry 134: 1010-1014.

Funk, W. (1998). “What DiffErenCe Does IT Make?”: Journey of a Soul Survivor. Cranbrook, B.C.: Wildflower Publishing Company [self-published].

Kroessler, D. and Fogel, B.S. (1993) “Electroconvulsive therapy for major depression in the oldest old”. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 1(1), 30-37.

Sackeim, H.A et al (2007). “The Cognitive Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Community Settings.” Neuropsychopharmacology, 32, 244-54.

Sterling, P. (October 2002). Comments on Brain Damage and Memory Loss From Electroconvulsive Shock. Dublin, Ireland: Wellbeing Foundation.

Weitz, D. (1997).  “Electroshocking Elderly People: Another Psychiatric Abuse”. Changes: International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, vol.15 no.2

Antipsychiatry Radio Transcript – Take Back Our Radio – Mar.11/09

ANTIPSYCHIATRY RADIO – TAKE BACK OUR RADIO
Transcript – March 11, 2009

Welcome to a very special edition of Antipsychiatry Radio. I’m Don Weitz, your proud producer-and-host of Antpsychiatry Radio. Originally titled Shrinkrap over 12 years ago, Antipsychiatry Radio was producing and broadcasting critical opinions and exclusive interviews with courageous psychiatric survivors and antipsychiatry activists and critics of the psychiatric system since 1994–until I was suddenly ‘dismissed’ and the program cut without notice, cause or reason on May 5 last year. Like many other CKLN programmers who’ve been censored, harassed, threatened, dismissed or fired, and locked out by a rightwing staff and board of directors, Antipsychiatry  Radio was forced into exile. But no more, I’m back fighting to reclaim Antipsychiatry Radio, and 60 other programmers and hosts are also fighting to reclaim CKLN as the community, democratic and revolutionary voice of oppressed people in Toronto and beyond.

Tonight, I’m dedicating this special edition of Antipsychiatry Radio to all women psychiatric survivors and sister programmers. In honour of International Women’s Day, our sisters and feminists everywhere, tonight’s program features a special pre-recorded interview with Bonnie Burstow. Dr. Burstow is an outstanding and outspoken feminist and antipsychiatry activist, she is on the faculty in the Departments of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). A little over a week ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Burstow about her views on feminism, antipsychiatry and electroshock, and how she became an antipsychiatry activist. These are a few edited excerpts from that interview. Let’s listen to Part 1… [play CD, 7:46 minutes]

We’re now going to take a short break with an excerpt from the song “There Is
No Hole in My Head” by Malvina Reynolds [play CD 1 minute]

We’re continuing a special interview with feminist and antipsychiatry activist Dr. Bonnie Burstow. Let’s listen to Part 2…  [Play CD, 6:50 minutes]

Like Dr. Burstow, some dissident professionals, shock survivors and activists have publicly protested against the psychiatric system, particularly electroshock. Many shock survivors, antipsychiatry and social justice activists including Dr. Burstow and myself want it banned. Electroshock is a symbol of coercive-biological psychiatry and the “mental health system” itself which is actually a social-control system based on the 3Fs of force, fraud and fear. Force because virtually all-psychiatric procedures like forced drugging, electroshock and physical restraints are assaults. Fraud because psychiatric diagnostic labels including “schizophrenia”, bipolar mood disorder”, ADHD” and “mental illness” itself do not refer to any physical illness or disease in the body; psychiatric diagnoses are subjective moral judgments of conduct or character assassinations.  Fear because being locked up, forcibly drugged and not told when you’ll be released triggers fear or panic. Psychiatrists, their promoters and Big Pharma ceos who tell us that psychiatry is “medical science” are lying.

Electroshock is psychiatry’s major brainwashing weapon; it’s a memory-destroying, brain-damaging psychiatric procedure that does not deserve to be called “treatment”. It always causes some permanent memory loss, brain damage, trauma and fear. Several studies, including the comprehensive 2007 study by Dr Harold Sackeim and others, clearly and conclusively document the fact that both young and elderly women suffer significantly more memory loss and brain damage than men. “ECT” statistics I’ve obtained with great difficulty from Ontario’s Ministry of Health during the last 5 years clearly show that 2-3 times more women than men are shocked and roughly half of these women are over 60, which is why I also call shock a form of elder abuse. The neurological and psychological damage is generally permanent; hundreds (maybe thousands) have died after they were shocked. For example, well-known poets and writers such as Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Ernest Hemingway committed suicide shortly after they were shocked; the careers and lives of actress Frances Farmer and artist-social justice activist Paul Robeson and countless others were ruined after they were locked up and electroshocked.  In her book The Politics of Cruelty, feminist writer Kate Millett has called electroshock not only cruelty but also torture. It’s obvious that electroshock is a human rights issue, it should also be a women’s issue, but so far electroshock is not a priority item on the feminist agenda.

Many women shock survivors, like Carla McKague and Paivi Lane in Toronto; Sue Clark in Ottawa; Wendy Funk in Whitehorse, Yukon; Helene Grandbois in Montreal; Mary Maddock in Cork, Ireland; in the United States many other shock survivor-sisters including Barbara Cody in Chicago and Linda Andre in New York have called electroshock, barbaric, cruel, a torture and crime against humanity. Grassroots resistance led by women survivors and feminist-activists is growing. During the last 3 years, women shock survivors and feminist-activists have led anti-shock rallies and protests in 3 cities in two countries–Canada and Ireland. On Mother’s Day in 2007, anti-shock protests were held in Toronto, Montreal and Cork, Island. The Toronto protest was organized by feminists, antipsychiatry activists and shock survivors in the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA); in Montreal a similar protest was organized by the Comite Par-chocks in collaboration with Action Autonomie and Collectif Pour le Defense des Droits en Sante Mentale de Montreal; in Cork, Ireland, the anti-shock protest was organized by MindFreedom Ireland. These major protests were led by women survivors and human rights activists; their powerful theme and demand was and still is Stop Shocking Our Mothers and Grandmothers; it was this demand on Mother’s Day in 2008 when more anti-shock protests were held in Ottawa, Montreal, and Ireland. Women were the chief organizers and featured speakers; they undoubtedly will be this year when more protests are held in Toronto, Montreal and Cork, Ireland. The growth of these protests and demands to ban electroshock means that electroshock resistance is going global, it means that we are witnessing an international movement against electroshock and psychiatric oppression and for human rights. This is very empowering, a tribute to all women survivors, antipsychiatry activists and feminists who have courageously broken their silence, spoken out and acted out against electroshock and psychiatric oppression of women.
For more information on electroshock and the struggles to ban it, check out these websites:http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca, icbe.wordress.com, and endofshock.com
This is Don Weitz thanking you for listening to this special edition of Antipsychiatry Radio-in-exile. My special thanks to Ron Nelson and Dale Whitmore for their technical support; Susy Pocasangre, Stephanie Gude and Carmelle Wolfson who worked hard and long to organize all the special programs and this empowering broadcast, and the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault that endorses TAKE BACK OUR RADIO.
Stay tuned for more special International Women’s Day programming.

Letter to the Toronto Star: NCR – another psychiatry-and-state fraud and deception

March 4, 2009

Attention: Opinion Page Editor The Toronto Star

NCR: another psychiatry-and-state fraud and deception

Re the recent trial of Vincent Li, I strongly oppose the legal defence of “not criminally responsible” (NCR) –the old ‘not  guilty by reason of insanity’ defence. Why? Because this legal defence perpetuates the myth and fraud of “mental illness”, and allows the  “mentally ill” accused person to avoid responsibility for his/her actions and consequences. After Vincent Li was accused of murder and labeled “mentally ill” or “schizophrenic” — he beheaded Tim McLean in an unprovoked attack on a greyhound bus — Li, his lawyer &  the psychiatrists (“mental health experts”) are now hyping the NCR defence in court to prevent sentencing him to prison. If the judge accepts the  “expert” testimony of the psychiatrists and NCR defence, Li will still be sentenced to prison, a maximum-security psychoprison (probably Oak Ridge/Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre in Ontario) where he will be locked up indefinitely, forcibly drugged with neuroleptics, and chemically lobotomized .

In a fast-tracked court trial (3 -4 days ) in Winnipeg, Vincent Li was sentenced indefinitely to a psychoprison after his lawyer, the prosecution (“the  crown”), and 2 psychiatrists, who gave “identical testimony”, conspired to  to urge the discredited and  illogical NCR defence and promote the myths of “schizophrenia”/”mental illness”. The NCR is just a sanitized version of the old “not guilty by reason of insanity” defence.  Like anybody else who kills, injures or harms another person, Li should be held responsible for his actions. Hearing voices or no voices,”mentally ill” or “sane”, Li had to know that he was killing (‘beheading’) another person. Li should have been criminally charged with murder. In the psychoprison, the psychiatrist-jailers will have another “mentally ill” human guinea pig whom they can torture and destroy with impunity with brain-damaging “antipsychotics” and other “safe and effective treatment”.

In the name of “mental health”, who benefits? Psychiatry and Big Pharma. Who suffers? Truth and justice.

Biographical note: Don Weitz is a psychiatric survivor, co-editor of Shrink Resistant: the struggle against psychiatry in Canada, and social justice activist in Toronto.

Eric  Jonsgaard
Senior Director
Guardianship Options
Lutheran Social Services of America/LSSA

Dear Mr. Jonsgaard,
Of behalf of the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA), we are writing to you re the legal case of Mr. Ray Sandford. We understand that your social services organization has been appointed general guardian for Mr. Sandford, and that Ms. Tonya Wilhelm, a staff or volunteer worker with LSSA, has been assigned his “guardian ad litem.” We also understand that Mr. Sandford has been court-ordered to undergo electroshock (“ECT”) on a weekly or  bi-weekly basis against his will, and that he is appealing this forced treatment. Further, we understand that Mr. Sandford has already undergone 37 or 38 electroshocks and that more will be administered –over his expressed and repeated refusals.

One of CAPA’s top priority issues is organizing against electroshock and working toward a universal ban. We therefore are very concerned whenever people are forced to undergo a psychiatric procedure like electroshock—without informed consent. We wish to point out that we are credible critics of electroshock and very knowledgeable about its many health risks including permanent memory loss and brain damage. We therefore strongly and publicly oppose electroshock. In our collective judgement, forcibly shocking Mr. Sandford constitutes assault, a serious violation of his human rights. Although LSSA may have no direct role or authority re Mr. Sandford’s electroshocks and court appeal, it has chosen to be remain silent, despite the fact that Mr. Sandford has given permission to human rights and advocacy organizations to publicize his situation
Although LSSA may not be a participant or have no authority to intervene in Mr. Sandford’s court case, as a progressive and religious organization it has a moral and public responsibility to speak out on ethics and human rights issues. It is our judgement that electroshock, particularly forced electroshock, is a serious violation of medical ethics and Ray Sandford’s human rights. In this light, we urge the LSSA to at least question the morality of using the authority and police powers of Minnesota to force a vulnerable citizen like Ray Sandford to undergo electroshock. We point out that this so-called  “safe, effective, and lifesaving treatment” has permanently damaged the lives and careers of many of our relatives, friends and colleagues in Canada, the United States and other countries. We fear that electroshock has already damaged Mr. Sandford’s brain and destroyed his life. (See websites http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca, http://endofshock.com)

We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bonnie Burstow, Chair, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA)

Shaindl Diamond, PhD, Candidate, Dept of  Counselling Psychology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Member of CAPA

Mel Starkman, Member of CAPA

Don Weitz, Member of CAPA

Executive Committee, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault

(signed)

C: Bishop Mark S. Hanson, Ecumenical Lutheran Church of America/ELCA

Miriam L. Woolbert, Ecumenical Lutheran Church of America/ELCA,

Communication Services

Please reply to: Dr. Bonnie Burstow – bburstow@oise.utoronto.ca