Ramping up its campaign to get the use of electroshock (electroconvulsive or ECT) treatment prohibited as a “mental health treatment,” the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) released a new video featuring constitutional attorney Jonathon Emord supporting an urgent ban. Mr. Emord contends that electroshock is “barbarism,” which causes severe and even permanent memory loss. As a result, “many do not remember being married, do not recognize their spouses, do not recognize their children, do not remember how to play a musical instrument, do not remember how to practice their professions…,” he said.
Mr. Emord was one of two attorneys that filed a Citizens Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner in 2016 demanding that the electroshock device be removed from the market as no clinical trial and marketing application had proved the device as safe and effective. In the video, titled Electroshock Treatment Must Be Banned, Mr. Emord says electroshock — the passage of up to 460 volts of electricity through the brain — is “brutality, it is not treatment.”
“There is no scientific evidence of the long-term safety or efficacy of ECT. By law, the FDA is supposed to ensure that no drug or device is marketed without that proof” and in the case of the ECT device, this hasn’t occurred, says Mr. Emord.
CCHR International President Ms. Jan Eastgate adds, “In the absence of such proof, the FDA has been procrastinating about how to protect psychiatry’s $5.4 billion a year electroshock industry by keeping the ECT device on the market while shirking its responsibility to protect the public health from its damage.”
CCHR, a non-profit mental health watchdog group that works to ensure patient and consumer protections are enacted and is dedicated to eliminating abuses committed under the guise of mental health, wants to see accountability for the failure of the FDA to remove the ECT devices from the market, for the devices’ use for unapproved conditions such as autism and for allowing the procedure to be taught without a clinical trial proving safety and efficacy.
“All medical colleges and universities providing training or continuing education in electroshock should stop. The whole electroshock business needs to be shut down,” says Ms. Eastgate.
Joining the nationwide call to ban the ECT device, the President of CCHR Florida, Diane Stein, said her group has been investigating for profit psychiatric facilities use of the damaging procedure and the institutions that provide training in ECT.
“Electroshock is a prevalent and lucrative ‘treatment,’ and along with other brain-intervention/stimulant procedures should be banned in Florida’s mental health industry and medical colleges,” said Ms. Stein.
Mr. Emord points to the FDA’s failure to protect Americans by detailing some of the adverse effects of electroshock that include heart arrhythmia, loss of memory, brain shrinkage, heart attacks, strokes and brain damage — none of which are “acceptable risks” to anyone other than the psychiatrists administering and profiting from it.
Based on Texas reports — the only state that comprehensively collects statistics on ECT, including deaths within 14 days of the procedure being given — CCHR estimates there could be up to 300 deaths per year linked to electroshock treatment.
Mr. Emord goes further to say that ECT should not be considered “medical treatment” and it is “favored in many brutal regimes worldwide as a form of torture.”
According to Ms. Eastgate, she has personally documented hundreds of cases of electroshock damage, calling it mental euthanasia and adding that in patients’ testimonies given under oath during an Australian government inquiry the presiding Justice, John Slattery, described the sensations they experienced from electroshock as “callous” and “brutal.” These patients had been put into a drug-induced coma for several weeks while the ECT was delivered daily.
CCHR had the practice banned in Australia with criminal penalties enacted under the New South Wales Mental Health Act should it ever be administered.
Noting that information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed that in some U.S. states, children aged 5 or younger have been subjected to the violence of electroshock, Ms. Stein believes that financial incentives drive the continued use of electroshock and its training in colleges and universities.
Based on information to hand, insurance companies pay the costs in over 70 percent of ECT cases and an attending psychiatrist may easily perform five to six ECT treatments within one hour, billing more than $1,800 per hour. The average salary for psychiatrists practicing ECT may be twice that of other psychiatrists, according to a study on the effects of state funding of ECT.
Additionally, tens of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent in National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research of ECT from which psychiatric researchers profit.
CCHR urges signing the petition to ban ECT.
About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health,’” he wrote in March 1969.
 Jonathan Emord “Shock Treatment Should Be Banned,” News with Views, 27 Mar 2017, https://newswithviews.com/shock-treatment-should-be-banned/
 “Constitutional Attorney Jonathan Emord — Electroshock Treatment Must Be Banned,” 9 Aug 2018, 00:01:20, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgyZmG143Oc&t=196s
 R Shiwach, W Reid, T Carmody, “An Analysis of Reported Deaths Following Electroconvulsive Therapy in Texas, 1993-1998,” Psychiatry Online, 1 Aug 2001, https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ps.52.8.1095
 Op. cit., Jonathan Emord News with Views
 Ron Patton “Project Monarch: Nazi Mind Control The Evolution of Project MKULTRA,” 17 Dec 2014, http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_mindcon02.htm
 Anne Marie McKersie, “EFFECTS OF FUNDING ON ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY IN CALIFORNIA: A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of San Diego State University,” Spring 2011, p. 17. http://sdsu-dspace.calstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10211.10/1142/McKersie_Anne.pdf?sequence=1
Release ID: 395180