Electric shock therapy which will be referred as s
"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Electric shock therapy which will be referred as shock in this paper is a highly controversial treatment plan. Electric Shock Therapy is misused without proper communication of informed consent with the psychiatric survivor and be a form of violation of human rights and against medical ethics. The treatment plan itself a multi-billion-dollar industry. The discovery of ECT started in Rome, Italy in 1938 by two psychiatrists called Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini in a slaughter house. This discovery started when they would apply electros to the temples of the pigs which eased or made them unconscious making the process of slaughter efficient and quick ( " The Brutal Reality: Harmful Psychiatric Treatments", 2010) . In contrast, as for human civilization ECT was misused mainly prior to 1950s and 1960s where pharmaceutical drugs such as antidepressant drugs were not available. During those times consenting with family members or patients was not followed through prior of the procedure, ETC was portrayed as a form of punishment for individuals who are not seen as "normal" to psychiatrists.
To understand the misuse of shock therapy, it's important to know the procedure and why it is still used in today's world. Shock therapy is used for the following illnesses: individuals who think of killing themselves, hearing or seeing what others are not hear or see and when the use of psychiatric drugs is not helping (Kraus, Chandarana, 1997.)
. The procedure a ccording to the National Institute of Mental Health , the use of "small" amounts of electric currents typically 200-450 volts from 0.5 to 5 seconds are passed through the brain creating a seizure like effect. It continues to do so for approx. 30-60 seconds leaving the psychiatric survivor unconscious. This continues either daily or every other day for 1 to 2 weeks ( . To make the process less horrific and painful as it used to be , the use of muscle relaxants such as succinylcholine and the use of anesthesia along with pre-oxygenation of the brain may help "eliminate" (destroy the memory) of the procedure. However, this does not change the fact that there is electricity passing through the brain. The side effects consist of possible brain damage, temporary or most cases permanent memory loss which include the psychiatric survivor's personal experiences in life or certain events. Other improvements made to this procedure is the EEG seizure monitoring and other biomedical devices made to make the process more efficient.
In the years of 2010 till 2011, 16,529 ECT treatments have been carried out in Ontario along with 75,000 treatments delivered in total in Canada respectively (Toronto Star). These numbers are currently progressing higher. In Ontario ECT is covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. The industry itself is a multimillionaire money making of course the officials would not support to ban such therapy rather make as much use of it and promote the treatment.
Shock therapy is a good source of money on an average American hospital a series of treatmen t can cost between $8,000 (series of 8 treatments) additional with the cost of staying at the hospital. An average American psychiatrist who has specialized in ECT can earn up to 300,000 to 500,000 a year. According to the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 2009 to 2010 925,060 patients were hospitalized with mainly depression out of that number 20,251 underwent ETC . Doing the calculation, the elec troshock industry is roughly making $ 162,000,000 yearly.
It's a shame that the government officials support the use of shock therapy even though its strong link to violations of our laws of freedom, including freedom of speech and freedom from assault. According to an article in the Globe and Mail, 66-year-old retired nurse was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder during the 1980's and she has been kept as an involuntary patient many times. Currently is she being detained since February 2012 as an involuntary patient and according the claim she has made she had approximately 300 sessions of Electroconvulsive Therapy. Additionally, for her to be released from the hospital she is required to take psychotropic medication. This is a case of misuse for Electric Shock therapy as it is a violation of an individual human rights as
View Full Essay