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National Empowerment Center

Electroshock Resources


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ECT Advocacy

Electroshock Survivors and Advocates Testify before FDA Advisory Committee: Don't Reclassify ECT Machines

On Jan. 27, 2011, Daniel Fisher, and several other mental health consumers braved the winter storm and testified before the FDA Neurological Device Panel against downgrading the classification of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) machines from Class III to Class II. We were successful at this stage, because the panel voted 10 to 8 to retain the Class III classification of ECT devices!

John Breeding - ECT Testimony before FDA
From the National Empowerment Center on Vimeo.

Written testimony of other survivors and advocates, and additional resources:

ECT Survivors and Advocates Respond to FDA Decision on ECT Machines - January 27-28, 2011

Speakers in this video include; Loretta Wilson, Dorothy Dundas,
Vince Boehm, Donald Johnson, Kendrick Moxon, John Breeding.

ECT Studies

"The Effectiveness of Electroconvulsive Therapy: a Literature Review." By John Read and Richard Bentall. Epidemiologica e Psychiatria Sociale 19:333-347. (2010). Concludes that the short-term gains of ECT do not justify its associated brain damage, memory loss, cognitive deficits and increased risk of death. Click here to read the study (PDF, 164KB, 15 pages)

“The Cognitive Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Community Settings.” By Harold Sackheim et al. Neuropsychopharmacology, pp. 244-254. (2007) "This study provides the first evidence in a large, prospective sample that adverse cognitive effects can exist for an extended period and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings." Click here to read the study (PDF, 161KB, 11 pages)

Other ECT Resources

Linda Andre's book is both a powerful memoir of her own experience as an ECT "patient" and a documented account of the underbelly of the 'shock industry.' It raises profound questions about ECT that both psychiatry and the National Institute of Mental Health--if they want to be honest with the American public--desperately need to address. -- Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill [Book Review] [Purchase Doctors of Deception]