Memory is Sacred
The FDA could very well be on the way to approving electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatment) without the benefit of clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy. This is great for the psych and shock industries but a terrible step in the wrong direction for you and me. ECT is currently legal and administered to approximately 100,000 people in the US and 1 million globally. It is often happening with poorly informed consent and also by force. The ECT industry depends on its untested approval because it simply can’t pass the test. It has never proven to be predictable, safe or effective. Typically the only long term effects are the adverse effects, while the perceived “benefits” are temporary, requiring “maintenance treatments”.
Regardless of whether you stand aside me or in opposition to me in terms of the rights of people diagnosed as mentally ill, the FDA has a job to do and failure in this instance sets a precedent we can’t afford. If ECT gets reclassified it will be as a favor to a large and prosperous industry and not in the interest of health of any kind. You don’t have to join a group, a team or a movement to be able to say you spoke up when it was necessary.
The FDA is open to comments on the issue but only for a limited time and, as it stands, proponents are speaking over opponents ten to one. I, for one, am tired of seeing victory go to the people who speak the loudest instead of those who are actually right. Here are two links that provide information on the matter. Both MindFreedom International and Jim Gottstein of PsychRights have laid out the facts and made it extremely easy to comment to the FDA.