Chinese Activist in Mental Hospital

Chinese Activist in Mental Hospital

The Associated Press

Thursday, February 8, 2001; 12:51 PM

SHANGHAI, China– A doctor confirmed Thursday that a Chinese labor activist is being held in a mental hospital, but insisted he was ill and downplayed reports that he was being forced to receive electric shock treatments.

Cao Maobing, an electrician, was forcibly committed in mid-December for trying to form an independent labor union at a silk factory in eastern China, according to human rights groups.

The New York-based Human Rights in China said Thursday that Cao was being force-fed psychiatric drugs and given electric shock treatment after going on a hunger strike in January.

But a doctor at the Yancheng No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital in the eastern city of Yancheng said the reported electric shock treatment was an “exaggeration” and maintained the hospital was merely treating Cao for mental illness. The doctor refused to give his name or any details of the treatment.

Human Rights in China said Cao stopped eating to press his demand to be allowed to visit his family for the lunar new year holiday in late January – the most important family event of the year in China.

It said Cao was being held in a room with more than 20 mentally ill patients, who it said were harassing him and threatening his safety. The group said he had been held there for more than 53 days.

Cao was detained after talking to Western reporters about efforts by 300 workers to form an independent union at a state-owned silk factory in Jiangsu province.

China allows only unions controlled by the ruling communist party. Activists complain they have failed to protect workers against widespread layoffs and other wrenching changes at ailing state firms.

China has been accused of forcing other labor and human rights activists as well as members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement into psychiatric hospitals.

“This is a serious method routinely used by the Chinese Communist Party to tackle independent labor activism,” Human Rights in China said in a statement faxed to reporters.







ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — After a hospital that has
been forcibly electroshocking a 66-year-old mom was
“deluged” with public comments, they suddenly
reversed themselves. The hospital announced today
they are discharging Kathleen Garrett tomorrow.

Earlier this week, DesPeres Hospital had
administered two electroshocks to Kathleen Garrett
against her will. The hospital had planned ten to
twelve more forced electroshocks, but she will
apparently be spared. Kathleen’s son, Steve, said
his mom is “very happy to hear she is going home.”

The organizer of the campaign to save Kathleen
Garrett was Juli Lawrence of the group “,”
one of 88 Sponsoring Groups in Support Coaltion
International. Juli said that, “I’m moved to tears
of awe. I’m so humbled by the outpouring and the
concern of everyone. Mere words cannot express the
emotion I feel. The best I can do is say thank you
so very much, and Steve — her son — thanks you.”

DesPeres Hospital spokesperson John Shelton told
DENDRITE today that the hospital was “deluged”
overnight by public comment opposing the
electroshock. Shelton attributed the flood to the
DENDRITE Internet alert sent out yesterday evening
by Support Coalition International. Sixteen hours
after the alert was issued, the hospital told
Kathleen Garrett’s son they were stopping the forced
electroshock and discharging her at 2 pm tomorrow.
When asked why, the hospital gave Steve no explanation.

Juli received copies of many of the public comments
where were sent to Michele Meyer, the CEO DesPeres
Hospital. “I cannot even begin to count how many
there were in my e-mailbox. And I’m reading every
last one!”

This corporate chain has a history of abuse and neglect.
Tenet Health Care owns DesPeres Hospital. Under its
former name, National Medical Enterprises, Tenet was
convicted in the largest case of fraud, bribery and
conspiracy, in U.S history, on June 28, 1994,
largely because of psychiatric human rights
violations. In addition to the record $ fine
they are enjoined from owning or operating
psychiatric or rehab. hospitals. This does not
enjoin them from owning general hospitals that
provide psych. services, such as DesPeres Hospital.
You can thank Juli Lawrence for her work, and find
out more about electroshock by contacting her
organization via her website, or
by e-mail at emailgraphic.jpg.

“Kathleen Garrett and her son had lost in a court of
law. But this family won in the court of public
opinion,” said Ted Chabasinksi, a survivor of forced
electroshock at the age of six, who is now an
attorney and is president of the Support Coalition
International board of directors. “This is all about
strength in numbers.”

To find out more about Support Coalition, and to
join, you can request a free sample copy of the
award-winning paper newsjournal, _Dendron_. The
summer issue has 64 pages of news about campaigns to
win human rights in psychiatry, including resisting
electroshock. For a sample, e-mail your postal
mailing address to The theme
of the next issue is “Youth Resistance to Psychiatric
Oppression,” with a deadline for material of
September 30. You can now join Support Coalition on
the web, via a secure web server at For details, see below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DENRITE ALERT BROUGHT TO YOU
DENDRITE is a one-way *occasional* e-mail
list, so you do *not* get too much e-mail this way.

**BRANCH LIKE A DENDRITE** Copy & forward this alert
to appropriate places on & off the Internet, just as
your brain uses tree-like dendrites to network
billions of neurons.

Support Coalition International is an independent
non-profit federation of 88 groups in 13 countries
united to win human rights and alternatives in the
“mental health system.” SCI is open to the public,
and led by psychiatric survivors. SCI receives no
funding from the psychiatric drug industry, the
“mental health system” or the government.

NOTE: Just getting this DENDRITE e-mail does *not*
necessarily mean you are already an SCI member. Ask
if you’re not sure you are a current member. DENDRITE
is a free public e-mail alert list. _Dendron News_
is Support Coalition’s paper newsjournal for members.

The theme of the next issue of _Dendron_ is: Youth
Resistance to Psychiatric Oppression. September 30,
2000 is the deadline. Articles, resource listings,
news, letters encouraged.

You can now join, donate and renew with Support Coalition
International by VISA/MasterCard via a “secure” web server:

To contact or join Support Coalition International:
Phone 9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time (541) 345-9106.
Or fax anytime to (541) 345-3737. Or write to:
Support Coalition; PO Box 11284; Eugene, OR 97440 USA.
Or e-mail:
Donations are tax deductible.

You can get DENDRITE e-mail human rights alerts *free*:

To get free DENDRITE alerts, simply e-mail to:

with these two words only in body of message:
subscribe dendrite

To unsubscribe from DENDRITE, e-mail to:

with these two words only in body of message:
unsubscribe dendrite

New York survey: 40 percent of ECT patients in NY under court order

FORTY PERCENT of ECT patients (excluding those in Harold Sackeim’s research studies) in the state of New York receive ECT under court orders, according to a new survey released by the state.

Thanks to the hard work of NY Assemblyman Marty Luster, the state of New York took some action after last year’s public relations disaster and the awareness raised over New York’s increasing use of forced electroshock.

He held hearings, and following those hearings, Assemblyman Luster requested that the state Commission on Quality of Care study electroshock in New York.

The result of that is a new study, “Commission on the Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled.” In August 2001, the Commission conducted a survey. They were not mandated to look at efficacy, but they were supposed to look at the legal issues involved.

During the time studied, two patients in five were given ECT via a court order, says the survey. (Similar to the cases that caught the attention of Assemblyman Luster after they fought back….most people don’t fight back, having few support systems and a fear that there’s no chance of winning the fight.)

However, at Manhattan Psychiatric Center, 70 percent of ECT patients received ECT under court order.

Read the results of the survey

Juli Lawrence response to Bryan Cave

Terrence J. O’ Toole
One Metropolitan Square
211 N. Broadway, Suite 3600
St. Louis, Missouri 63102-2750

September 12, 2000

Dear Mr. O’ Toole:

Thank you for your interest in

In your email dated September 7, 2000, you demanded that I remove information from the website which you allege contains false, defamatory and misleading statements. You further allege that medical information exists that violates a patient’s right to privacy.

I am unclear as to specifics. Could you communicate with me your specific allegations and how you would propose that I correct them to your satisfaction?

Thank you,

Juli Anne Lawrence

Terrence J. O’Toole/Bryan Cave letter to Juli Lawrence

Dear Ms. Lawrence:

September 26, 2000

This is in response to your e-mail to me of September 12, 2000, requesting that my client, Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Des Peres Hospital, furnish you with specifics concerning the defamatory report, dated August 24, 2000, published on your website “” regarding the treatment of Kathleen Garrett. Tenet’s obligation to uphold the privacy rights of its patients precludes Tenet from releasing information about the patient’s treatment absent competent authorization by the patient. In consequence of that obligation, we cannot furnish additional information about the inaccuracy of your reports.


Terrence J. O’Toole
Bryan Cave LLP

Tenet Healthcare Corp threatens with SLAPP

Tenet Healthcare Corporation, via their attorneys at Bryan Cave in St. Louis have *demanded* that do what they say or else they’ll pursue legal action. It’s not the first time that Tenet has used our justice system to silence its critics. And I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and begin the journey into the story that is: TENET HEALTHCARE CORPORATION! Read all about Kathleen Garrett’s experience with forced electroshock….and speak out! Tell us what you think!

St. Louis media ignores forced shock in its own backyard while Russian woman’s story highlighted

By Juli Lawrence

The court of world opinion was swift and angry when the media broadcast images of a grieving Russian mother being tranquilized after speaking her mind. Her son was one of those killed in the Kursk submarine disaster in August. Media immediately latched onto the story, outraged that a grieving mother would be injected without her consent.

Where were the media two days before, when Kathleen Garrett was being forcibly electroshocked?

Initially, St. Louis media showed a great amount of interest. However, they were quickly stifled after talking to representatives of the corporation that played a large part in Mrs. Garrett’s plight, Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Whether they honestly fell for Tenet’s line of “There is no story here,” or whether they were scared off by the great power that Tenet has in the St. Louis area, I don’t know.

Media sources have said that officials at Tenet said there was no story because Kathleen signed a release statement.

“When I arrived at the hospital the morning of her release,” said Steve Vance, Mrs. Garrett’s son, “they were trying to get her to sign a statement saying she wanted more shock.” This was shortly after they shocked her the morning of her release. Steve is a licensed social worker for the city of St. Louis.

Both Kathleen and Steve have been adamant that she did not want the treatments. Legal documents, however, gave Ricky Mofsen, and Tenet-owned hospitals Southpointe and Des Peres the right to shock her against her will.

How can this be? This is a question that I have been repeatedly asked since the story was brought to the public. Psychiatric rights activists have long understood that people can be forced into psychiatric treatment, including ECT. It seems unbelievable that in the year 2000 someone can be forced into such an invasive procedure, but it happens. And it is not infrequent.

I estimate that between 4,000 and 10,000 persons are given ECT on an involuntary basis – against their will – in America every year. It is only an estimate, and I base the numbers on statistics supplied from the California Department of Mental Health.

Why can’t I be more precise? Because only six states are required by state law to keep any records concerning ECT. We don’t even know how many people in the US have ECT. Any numbers you see (usually 100,000 to 200,000 persons annually in the US) are estimates only. (If this outrages you, as it should, contact your legislators and demand that they look into this lack of record keeping at the federal level. Contact lenses face more regulation than does the practice of ECT!)

So how did this happen to Kathleen?

She has a history of depression and had ECT twice in her life. She says that both times it did not help her, and she suffered severe memory loss. She asked her son Steve to promise that they would never do that to her again, and it’s a promise he made to his beloved mother. Sadly, it was not a promise he could keep, thanks to the actions of Ricky Mofsen, DO. (Notice that Mofsen did his residency at SUNY, home of shock granddad Max Fink!!!)

Ricky told Kathleen that he wanted her to have ECT. She said no, and he said “See you in court.” And he did exactly that, taking her to court to force it.

Her son Steve hired an attorney to fight it, trying desperately to keep his mother’s promise. Steve says that the doctor obviously drugged his mother heavily and she was deliberately unkempt, and brought in on a gurney. “Of course this made her look awful,” Steve says. “I believe it was a manipulative action to make her appear as bad as possible.”

Steve says that in the court hearing (court transcripts have been ordered and will be placed on this website when I receive them…with Mrs. Garrett’s full authority; there are some court documents here) his mother was asked if she wanted the shock treatments and she said no.

Despite her wishes, and the firm wishes of her son (who was given power of attorney in hopes that it would hold some weight in the court action), the judge ruled that Mofsen could shock Mrs. Garrett against her will.

It’s long been known that older women are the number one targets of shock docs. Statistics that are available (California and Ontario are the best stats we have) bear this out. Mrs. Garrett became another statistic that day.

Steve has expressed concerns about payoffs, and originally, I thought this was over the top. Then information began to surface about just whom Steve and his mother were dealing with.

It came to light that the hospital involved was owned by Tenet, the same chain involved in the largest fraud scandal in the history of the United States. Suddenly, the allegations that were floating around began to carry some weight.

Steve says that his mother was getting along reasonably well, but that she does suffer some depression common to older people: loneliness since her husband died, plus the fact that she had undergone extensive treatments for breast cancer: surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy.

“This would leave anyone in a sad state,” says Steve. “But she wasn’t suicidal or even close. It was depression associated with the cancer treatments. She really needed someone to talk to.”

Instead of talk, she got force. Steve says that Mofsen had repeatedly given Kathleen a number to Behavioral Health Response, and said to call anytime when she needed to talk to someone. Mrs. Garrett has stated that she believed it to be a phone line simply to chat with someone when she was lonely.

She called the line one evening, hoping to talk to a friendly person, and instead was asked, “If you were going to kill yourself, how would you do it?”

Kathleen replied, “Well, I guess I’d jump out the window.” Both she and Steve remain adamant that she was not suicidal, but feel that the question was asked in a deceptive manner. It wasn’t “Are you thinking of killing yourself,” but instead “how would you do it?”

Minutes later a fire truck was sent to her home and she was whisked off to Southpointe Hospital, also owned by Tenet.

That led to Mofsen wanting to perform ECT.

An investigation by has not turned up any affiliation between Tenet and Behavioral Health Response (BHR). It appears to be a state-funded organization, and when questioned, a representative of BHR said that they absolutely do not take any payoffs from Tenet Healthcare Corporation. He added that he could not comment on the case in any detail.

Kathleen was admitted to Southpointe Hospital in St. Louis, where ECT treatments were to begin. Steve says that by this point, he felt beaten and did not know where to turn next. He says the ECT machine broke, and she was then transferred to Des Peres Hospital. She had undergone two treatments, and Steve says he repeatedly asked her if she wanted them. Her answer was always no, please make them stop.

A chance meeting changed everything.

Steve met Paul Spencer, a local activist. Paul called me and I contacted David Oaks of Support Coalition International. ( is one of 88 international sponsoring organizations of SCI) From there, we put together a release and David distributed the release worldwide.
People were asked to contact Michele Meyer, CEO of Des Peres Hospital to express their concern. Many copied their emails to me, and I received hundreds of copied emails.

Within 18 hours, Des Peres Hospital called Steve and said he could pick his mother up the following day. The world was thrilled that their outrage had gained Kathleen’s freedom. However, the medical community was not yet done with Kathleen Garrett.

Paul Spencer voiced concerns over why they were waiting a day to release her. Steve called first thing in the morning and asked. Paul’s fears became reality when a nurse at Des Peres admitted that they had again shocked her that morning.

“I am convinced they used a higher dose,” says Steve. “She is more confused than ever. Can’t even remember how old she is now.”

Only the people involved can answer the question “Why, after agreeing to back down and stop the treatments, did you shock her again?”

However, there is speculation from the public.

“I think it’s pretty obvious,” said an activist who asked not to be identified. “They wanted to blast her one last time to fry her memory as best they could. They know a major lawsuit is headed their way.”

Said another: “It was the ultimate fuck you. How dare they do this to a defenseless woman! They did it out of spite, the sadistic bastards! Tenet is an evil group. They’ve proved it in the past, and they’re up to their same evil!”

The question must be asked: Why did Ricky Mofsen, DO, Tenet-owned Des Peres Hospital and all staff involved give her one last blast, right before her friends and family came to secure her release? Officials of Tenet Healthcare Corporation were originally telling media that it was all moot, that she’d signed a release form.

Steve says that when he arrived to take his mother home, she immediately complained that they were trying to coerce her into signing such a form.

“She could have signed anything after what they did,” Steve says. “It wouldn’t surprise me to find out they did make her sign a statement.”

But activists have repeatedly talked to Kathleen and she is adamant about one thing: NO MORE SHOCK!

Staff from the hospitals became so bothersome that Steve felt he had no choice – he changed his mother’s phone number and told staffers “Leave my mother alone!”

“They know a major lawsuit is headed their way,” said an attorney. “They’re just trying to cover their asses at this point.”

For updates on Kathleen’s condition, visit the guestbook. And leave a message of support for Kathleen! Or speak your mind about Tenet’s role in all of this. Email addies not required.

Steve says that now Tenet is harassing his mother over a bill they originally said was covered by insurance. He says they’ve been rude, “snippy” and he’s outraged that they continue to “be so hateful” to his mother.

Dendrite Alert: Kathleen Garrett’s human rights DENDRITE — August 23, 2000
COPY & POST to appropriate places on & off Internet:
ALERT: human rights & “mental health system.”
A free project of Support Coalition International. email:




ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — A 66-year-old woman is
currently undergoing forced electroshock, against
her own wishes and those of her family. Kathleen
Garrett received involuntary electroshock on Monday,
August 21, 2000 and today, August 23, 2000. Between
ten to twelve more forced shocks are planned.

Kathleen Garrett has endured a lot in the last year
– two cancer surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.
Depressed, she voluntarily checked herself into
Southpoint Hospital in St. Louis, where her doctor,
Ricky Mofsen, informed her he would be performing
“electroshock therapy.”

She refused the treatments, having undergone shock
in the past. The doctor immediately took her case to
a judge, who ruled he could perform the treatments
against her will.

Steve Vance, the woman’s son and primary care giver,
brought an attorney to the hearing. Vance said his
mother was heavily drugged and deliberately unkempt
as they wheeled her in on a gurney to meet the
judge. The judge ruled the woman was competent, but
that the forced electroshock could go on as planned.

“She’s gone through so much in the last year,” Vance
said. “I’m so afraid this latest is going to just do
her in and ruin her mind completely. I tried
discussing this all with her doctor, but he avoids
me. In fact, they weren’t going to tell me she was
having the shock treatments at all. My mother has
repeatedly insisted she does not want these

Vance is a licensed social worker and says the
doctor has refused to meet with him to discuss his
mother’s treatment. He added that during the first
shock, a few days ago, the machine broke, and they
transferred his mother to DesPeres Hospital. At the
time of this news release, she has had two
treatments and is scheduled for ten to twelve more.

“When are they going to stop?” asked Vance. “When
they’ve totally fried her mind?”

“People like to say forced electroshock doesn’t
happen in the United States,” said ect activist Juli
Lawrence, also of St. Louis. “It happens much more
than we’d like to believe. In the last year, I’ve
stepped in on several forced electroshock cases. In
every case, the patient was perfectly competent,
aware, and able to make an informed decision. But
because these doctors made up their minds to forge
ahead, they weren’t allowed to have a choice.”

The federal Center for Mental Health Services and
the President’s National Council on Disability (NCD)
have both released reports admitting that, from time
to time, some individuals in the USA do receive the
controversial electroshock procedure *against* their
expressed wishes. Earlier this year, the NCD issued
a call to end electroshock all together.
Lawrence said that people are encouraged to contact
her organization via her website,
or by e-mail at emailgraphic.jpg
“How about the many people out there who don’t have
access to the Internet, or don’t have a family
member or friend who is willing to do everything
possible in the way that Steve Vance has? Forced
electroshock is real. It is happening across
America. And it’s got to stop,” Lawrence said.



Here’s an easy way you can help now:

Email, call and/or fax to the CEO of the hospital
that is giving this woman forced electroshock:

Michele Meyer, CEO
DesPeres Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri

Phone: (314) 966-9135
Fax: (314) 966-9274

Please keep your message civil.
Please COPY your message to:



To: Michele Meyer

“Stop forced electroshock in DesPeres Hospital! Stop
the forced electroshock of Kathleen Garrett! Even
her son and caretaker is against this forced
electroshock! I request an immediate response.”

Optional: Include your name, address, phone, e-mail.



Media contacts:

KMOV (CBS) Channel 4
Phone: 314-444-6333
Fax: 314-621-4775
email (newstip):

KSDK (NBC) Channel 5
Phone: 314-444-5125
Fax: 314-444-5164

KPLR (WB) Channel 11
Phone: 314-367-7216

KTVI (Fox) Channel 2

KDNL (ABC) Channel 30
Phone: (314) 436-3030

Print media:

_The Post Dispatch_ reporters:

Social Justice Reporter: Ron Harris

Health Reporter: Adam Goodman


If you can help e-mail all the above contacts,
just copy and paste this whole list:,,,,,,,

[This news release provided by "," one of 88
Sponsor Groups in Support Coalition.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DENRITE ALERT BROUGHT TO YOU
DENDRITE is a one-way *occasional* e-mail
list, so you do *not* get too much e-mail this way.

**BRANCH LIKE A DENDRITE** Copy & forward this alert
to appropriate places on & off the Internet, just as
your brain uses tree-like dendrites to network
billions of neurons.

Support Coalition International is an independent
non-profit federation of 88 groups in 13 countries
united to win human rights and alternatives in the
“mental health system.” SCI is open to the public,
and led by psychiatric survivors. SCI receives no
funding from the psychiatric drug industry, the
“mental health system” or the government.

NOTE: Just getting this DENDRITE e-mail does *not*
necessarily mean you are already an SCI member. Ask
if you’re not sure you are a current member. DENDRITE
is a free public e-mail alert list. _Dendron News_
is Support Coalition’s paper newsjournal for members.

The theme of the next issue of _Dendron_ is: Youth
Resistance to Psychiatric Oppression. September 30,
2000 is the deadline. Articles, resource listings,
news, letters encouraged.

You can now join, donate and renew with Support Coalition
International by VISA/MasterCard via a “secure” web server:

To contact or join Support Coalition International:
Phone 9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time (541) 345-9106.
Or fax anytime to (541) 345-3737. Or write to:
Support Coalition; PO Box 11284; Eugene, OR 97440 USA.
Or e-mail:
Donations are tax deductible.

You can get DENDRITE e-mail human rights alerts *free*:

To get free DENDRITE alerts, simply e-mail to:

with these two words only in body of message:
subscribe dendrite

To unsubscribe from DENDRITE, e-mail to:

with these two words only in body of message:
unsubscribe dendrite

Kathleen Garrett and forced electroshock in St. Louis

This website has been threatened with for bringing you the story of Kathleen Garrett.


Kathleen Garrett and her son Steve Vance of St. Louis. (Photo by

This is the face of forced electroshock.

Only days before this photo was taken, Kathleen Garrett, 67*, of St. Louis, Missouri, was being treated with ECT (electroconvulsive therapy, also known as electroshock) against her will.

Does forced electroshock happen in America? YOU BET IT DOES!

And this is the most common target: a woman over the age of 65. Kathleen Garrett is widowed, age 67, and a retired humanitarian in her own right (worked many years running a Salvation Army Hotel, doing her best to brighten the lives of the residents).

She could be anyone’s mother. She is Steve Vance’s mother, and he stood up to the powers and said NO to forcibly shocking his mother. After all, it was a promise he had made her many years ago….

Learn more about Kathleen’s story and the role that Tenet Healthcare Corporation played. Learn more about forced treatment.

If it could happen to Kathleen Garrett, it could happen to your mother…or to you.

Kathleen Garrett’s story (the full story)
Facts in a Flash (quick facts about the case, will open a new, smaller window)
Some court documents . These includes the petitions, hearing notices, minutes of the hearings and so on.

The court transcripts are now online!

The original Dendrite (news release from Support Coalition International) sent out to inform people of her plight.

Second Dendrite announcing VICTORY FOR KATHLEEN!

All about Tenet Healthcare Corporation, formerly National Medical Enterprises, convicted of the largest insurance fraud case in the history of the United States.

Kathleen has been astounded and moved by the outpouring of public compassion for her plight. Leave a message of support for Kathleen, voice your feelings about Tenet Healthcare, or just stop in and say hi! (word of warning: if you say anything about Tenet Healthcare that isn’t full of praise, I advise you NOT to use your real name or email address. They’re kind of grumped up lately.) threatened with SLAPP!!!

(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation)

Tenet Healthcare Corporation, via their attorneys at Bryan Cave, have threatened me with a lawsuit! You can read a copy of the actual letter here.
My response
Their response

Want to help? Help spread this information around the net!

* Kathleen Garrett turned 67 in September (2000). She received numerous cards from supporters around the world (the concern from the good folks at Tenet must have been lost in the mail), which cheered her up quite a bit! Thank you to those of you who participated in the card shower!!!

DesPeres Hospital backs down on Kathleen Garrett forced shock!


Hospital backs down on forced electroshock. Read the Dendrite news release.

Celebration march to be held Friday, Aug. 25, 2000 at noon, near DesPeres Hospital. 2345 Dougherty Ferry, just off I-270. Click here for map.


St. Louis woman in the midst of forced shock!
Kathleen Garrett, 66, of St. Louis, told her doctor she didn’t want shock treatments. She told her son the same, and signed over a power of attorney, thinking he would be able to help. And years earlier, after having already endured shock treatments that wiped out her memory, she told her son to promise he would never let them shock her again.

Steve Vance has tried everything he could to fulfill that promise to his mother, including hiring an attorney and fighting. Mrs. Garrett’s doctor, Ricky Mofsen, insisted that she have the treatments and took it to court. And he won, despite the judge hearing from both Mrs. Garrett and her son, and despite ruling that she was competent.

On Monday, August 21, 2000, Kathleen Garrett had a shock treatment. On Wednesday, she had another. She has repeatedly told the doctor, the nurses and her son that she wants them to stop.

Shortly after the second treatment, a nurse informed her son that she would need 10 to 12 more.

Originally, Mrs. Garrett was hospitalized at Southpoint Hospital in St. Louis. When the shock machine malfunctioned, however, Dr. Mosfen transferred her to Des Peres Hospital. Thanks to an investigation by a Support Coalition member, it has been revealed that Des Peres is owned by Tenant Health Care, formerly National Medical Enterprises (NME).

NME was convicted in the largest case of fraud, bribery and conspiracy in U.S history on June 28, 1994. In addition to the record $379 million fine, they are enjoined from owning or operating psychiatric or rehab hospitals. This does not enjoin them from owning general hospitals that provide psych services.

NME is once again preying on the elderly. It was the obvious intention of Judge Kendall to deprive National Medical of the capacity to use forced treatment when he accepted NME’s guilty plea in Dallas on June 28, 1994. Today, unlike June of 1994, there are no indicted famous former football players in the county jail, to divert public attention from Jeffrey Barbakow’s corporate crimes.

Read the Dendrite from Support Coalition International. This news release has several ways YOU can get involved and help Mrs. Garrett. Help spread the word! Copy the Dendrite to your friends and colleagues and let’s GET INVOLVED!
Read some of the news stories about NME’s exploits.

Owner admits kickbacks: One of the nation’s largest psychiatric hospital chains yesterday pleaded guilty to kickback and health care fraud charges and agreed to pay a record $379 million in penalties for illegal conduct in hospitals in New Jersey and 29 other states.

Medical firm to plead guilty: A division of National Medical Enterprises will plead guilty to charges of Medicare fraud and conspiracy and pay a record fine of $362.7 million to settle a sweeping federal investigation, company officials said Tuesday.

Ex-psychiatric exec pleads guilty: A former Dallas hospital executive confessed Monday that he bought patients with at least $20 million in bribes to referring physicians and other health care professionals.

61 sue NME: Sixty-one plaintiffs sued National Medical Enterprises Inc. on Monday, alleging that they were “lured or forced” to its psychiatric treatment centers as part of a fraudulent scheme.

American health care. Mishap in the operating theatre: From the Economist (UK), an informative article about the economics of the health care business. Included is a paragraph about Tenet, formerly known as NME.

Kathleen Garrett fast facts

Kathleen Garrett’s doctor Ricky Mofsen, DO, says he wants her to have ECT. She says no. He takes her to court.

The judge rules Mofsen may shock her against her will.

Treatments begin, but Kathleen is transferred from Southpointe to Des Peres Hospital (both owned by Tenet) because the shock machine breaks.

She repeatedly states she wants no more shock. Complains of paralysis in her legs, but says nurses ignored her.

Son Steve Vance makes contact with activists who begin a public campaign to stop the forced shock!

Des Peres hospital is “deluged” with email, phone calls and faxes demanding that this forced treatment stop immediately.

Hospital appears to concede and calls Steve the next morning to say she’ll be released the following day.

Surprise early morning shock outrages the world, after hospital had said it would release her.

Kathleen states numerous times that hospital staff tried to coerce her into signing a statement saying she wanted more shock.

Steve becomes convinced that the early morning shock was extreme because his mother is so much more confused than after the previous shocks.

Staff from Des Peres begin to call Kathleen, forcing Steve to change her number. (The concern is that they will again try to coerce her into saying she wanted more shock)

Kathleen is now being harassed over a $3,200 medical bill, with threats of ruining her credit and taking her to court. Her son says this is adding to her stress and has asked that they leave her alone. He says he has been met with nothing but rudeness and hatred, and that the minute he calls, they “know who I am.”

He is becoming so concerned with her safety after learning of Tenet’s history that he is now seriously considering moving his mother to nearby Illinois. “I can’t believe how they’ve behaved,” says Steve. “These aren’t people who care. They only care about my mother’s money!”

Ricky Mofsen, DO

Shock doc who has forcibly shocked elderly women at Tenet hospitals in St. Louis

Information on:


Office Phone


Primary Practice

Medical School

Year of Graduation
from Medical School



Why gay men flee Bangladesh

Sydney Star Observer
April 16, 2003



By Adam Carr (BNews)

Bangladesh, with a population of 133 million, is the ninth-largest country in the world, and the second-largest Moslem country in the world after Indonesia.

Bangladesh is also a democracy, with a British-style parliamentary system.

One of the less pleasant legacies of British rule is Section 377 of the Penal Code, which provides: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life.”

Bangladesh lawyers, however, say this law is a dead letter. “The instances of prosecution under this section are extremely rare,” writes one lawyer. “In my 20 years of practice, I have not known or heard of a case where a person has been prosecuted for homosexuality under the aforesaid section.”

Quite a lot is known about homosexual practice in Bangladesh, thanks to the work of an Australian gay man, Professor Gary Dowsett, who wrote a research paper, Men Who Have Sex With Men In Bangladesh, as part of an HIV-related research project.

Dowsett describes a complex pattern of sexual activity: teenage male prostitution in Dhaka parks, a custom of sex between male cousins and brothers-in-law, a tradition of transvestism.

All this, he notes, has nothing to do with western “gay identity”, although this is now also starting to appear.
Until recently homosexuality was almost never spoken about in public.

This is beginning to change, but the results are sometimes a little strange.

A recent article in the Dhaka Daily Star noted, “We have a much higher percentage of gays and lesbians in our society than we had five years ago.”

Dr Safiul Azam, associate professor of Sociology at Dhaka University, went on to say homosexuality was increasing at the rate of 3.5 percent a year.

Dr Azam’s explanation for this was arsenic contamination of the drinking water supply.

“With a steady injection of arsenic in their blood stream over a week, 94 percent of African mice invariably lost the ability to distinguish between cheese on mouse traps and those on plain white paper.”

The connection between cheese discernment in mice and homosexuality was apparently too obvious to explain.

Another Daily Star writer took the view that homosexuality resulted from the pernicious effects of Indian movies.

“Girls these days are watching Hrithik Roshan movies and naturally that makes them want guys to be all six feet tall and good dancers,” the writer claimed.

“Their expectations are just way too high for the average Bangladeshi.

“Many of us have reluctantly resorted to this ‘alternative’ lifestyle with similarly frustrated male friends because of their hard luck in getting a decent date.”

This would all be amusing enough were it not for the fact that militant Islamic fundamentalism is gaining ground in Bangladesh as it is elsewhere in the Moslem world.

Islamist groups funded from Saudi Arabia are campaigning for the introduction of shari’a law, which has historically been unknown on the Indian subcontinent.

Gay men will be obvious victims of this trend, which is being resisted only fitfully by Bangladeshi politicians fearful of offending Islamic sentiment.

Recently the United States granted political asylum to a Bangladeshi gay man who was, he said, threatened with stoning by Islamic fundamentalists.

The man also reported being raped by police, forced into electroshock treatment and ordered by his family to enter into an arranged marriage.

There is a real danger that Bangladesh may follow Pakistan down the road of fundamentalist intolerance, in which case there will be many more Bangladeshi gay men seeking asylum in other countries, including Australia.

Patient challenges forced electroshocks

By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
The Independent

17 February 2003

Doctors’ powers to force severely depressed patients to have eloctroconvulsive therapy (ECT) will be reviewed by a High Court judge this week.

In the first case of its kind, a woman aged 41 who has refused ECT against her doctors’ advice has been granted a judicial review of their power to impose it on her.

The outcome of the case, being brought under human rights legislation, could have implications for the 10,000 patients a year who are given ECT. Doctors say it can save the lives of patients suffering suicidal depression but it is the only treatment requiring a general anaesthetic which can be administered to a patient who has mental capacity without their consent.

The woman, identified only as K, was admitted to Springfield Hospital in south-west London in January where doctors planned to administer emergency ECT. But her lawyers obtained a temporary injunction on the evening of 8 January preventing the treatment, and the next morning applied for a judicial review of the case.

Although the woman is suffering from a mental illness, it is accepted by the doctors that she has mental capacity, said her barrister, Stephen Field. “She doesn’t want her head plugged into the mains and she is quite capable of giving cogent reasons for her decision.”

Psychiatry’s roots in paternalism: why the field has not kept up with contemporary thinking

This is an article I wrote for a feminist publication. I’m going to have to hunt down its name and when published.

Psychiatry’s roots in paternalism: why the field has not kept up with contemporary thinking

By Juli Lawrence

At its core, the field of medicine has always been paternalistic: doctor knows best. Even the Hippocratic Oath included a line that encouraged physicians to perpetuate the imbalance of power between doctor and patient: “I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment.”

But while patients’ rights activists have provoked change in this power struggle, the field of psychiatry maintains roots deeply planted in paternalism and patriarchy. This imbalance of power is evident in the privacy of the doctor’s office, among colleagues, in hospitals, and even in the courtroom.

The very nature of psychiatry seeks to modify emotions and behavior, whether through therapy, medications, electroshock and other methods, and the doctor-
patient relationship revolves around a paternalistic imbalance of power. Psychiatrists label their patients as compliant or noncompliant to characterize whether or not the psychiatrist’s power has been accepted.

The doctrine of informed consent theoretically gives a patient information about a treatment, and the right to refuse treatment for any reason. But the doctrine hinges on the patient’s competence, and in psychiatry, the concept of competence is often used to reassert the psychiatrist’s power.

In many states, a person’s competence can be decided by the views of one psychiatrist. Some states require a second opinion, though it’s rare that in a simple competency hearing one doctor will disagree with another. In the court system, psychiatrists are given even more power and it would take a unique judge to listen to a patient – particularly a psychiatric patient – over a doctor.

Consider a case of forced electroshock involving an elderly woman in St. Louis, Missouri in August, 2000.

Kathleen Garrett was a woman in her 60s, recently widowed and undergoing treatment for breast cancer, as well as enduring a recent estrangement from one of her sons. Most women in such circumstances would find themselves with feelings of grief, if not downright depressed. Mrs. Garrett, with a lifelong history of episodic depression, did become depressed. Her psychiatrist adjusted her medications, but the depression remained. He then told her she needed to have electroconvulsive therapy, or electroshock. Mrs. Garrett refused, and immediately transformed into a “noncompliant patient.”

Instead of spending time discussing other options or why she didn’t want electroshock, her psychiatrist rushed into court, told the judge that he knew best, and that Mrs. Garrett was not competent to make such a decision. He didn’t mention that until the moment she said no, he considered her competent to make the decision.

Mrs. Garrett had very little time to put together a legal defense, and her Social Security income limited her access to an experienced attorney. The judge quickly ruled against her, ordering the doctor to begin electroshock treatments against her will. Mrs. Garrett would have been just another silent victim of the abuse of psychiatric power, but a loud and angry e-mail campaign against the doctor and hospital focused negative attention on her plight, and she was released from the hospital before completing the full series of treatments against her will.

Psychiatric patients often find themselves labeled noncompliant if they dare to speak back to their doctors, challenge his authority, or even ask questions. If a prescribed treatment, such as medication, is unsuccessful, the patient is again labeled noncompliant, with the psychiatrist just assuming that the patient has not followed directions. Psychiatric patients are at a distinct disadvantage because of the psychiatrists’ ability to use force to maintain the power structure.

Certainly “noncompliance” is a term used in other medical specialties, and doctors complain that patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases sometimes do not take medications as directed. However, despite a potential life-threatening outcome, a person with high blood pressure won’t find herself plunged into a courtroom drama to force compliance. A woman with diabetes who skips an insulin injection, or decides she’s tired of the routine, will not open her door to a nurse with a hypodermic in hand.

Psychiatric patients often face scenarios like this once they threaten a psychiatrist’s power, and states are enacting laws making it easier to force “compliance,” such as Illinois SB0198, currently undergoing Senate review. As it went through the Rules Committee, the proposed bill has had its language changed from “cause serious harm to self or others” to “engage in dangerous conduct.” Past experience has shown that dangerous conduct could be anything from eating unhealthy foods to disagreeing with a psychiatrists’ order to take medications despite having caused dangerous side effects in the patient’s past. Or dangerous conduct, more often, would simply be a “noncompliant patient.”

A mental health rights activist once said that if someone prepares a buffet of delicious, healthy food, people will come. But if that buffet serves food that makes people feel sick, they won’t return. It is an excellent analogy, and one that needs attention in the world of psychiatry. Too often, patients who tell their psychiatrists that the medications make them feel worse than their original symptoms made them feel are quickly tossed into the basket of “noncompliant patients.” The atmosphere quickly shifts from the psychiatrist’s comfortable balance of “Doctor says, patient obeys,” to one of “I am the expert, you must do as I say.” It can easily disintegrate into the psychiatrist labeling the patient incompetent, because she did not submit to his power and authority.

Experienced patients quickly learn they have a choice: they can submit and follow orders, or they can play “the game.” Most psychiatric patients fully understand that the game involves pretending to do exactly as ordered, and to put on an air of gratefulness. Unfortunately, this also means that the patient no longer confides in the psychiatrist with regard to symptoms, and their emotional disorders may grow worse. Alternately, the symptoms may abate on their own, as is common with psychiatric disorders. In the end, the doctor proclaims his methods are successful, he asserts his superiority, and the power game goes on. But under the surface of cooperative relationship, the truth reveals a relationship based on distrust and deception.

Psychiatrist Sally Satel, author of “PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine,” has written extensively about the need to maintain the status quo of doctor over patient. Her writings reveal her anger that women are trying to take control of their healthcare, particularly with regard to mental healthcare.

“But it is wrongheaded to confuse the need to know more – an imperative that will always be with us – with the unwarranted and poisonous notion that women are somehow second-class subjects in the world of medicine,” she writes.

She chastises health activists for interfering with “effective diagnosis and doctoring.”

Psychiatric patients are fighting back, however.

A growing movement of patients and ex-patients is demanding change in the system, and asking that patients be given a long-overdue voice and control of their healthcare choices. Not surprisingly, activists are not generally well-
received by psychiatrists. But psychiatrists still have their secret weapon, and it’s a weapon that the general public accepts without question: the issue of competence. To discredit an activist’s words, simply declare she is suffering from mental illness, and doesn’t know what’s best. Reassert psychiatry’s authority, and you have an effective method of discrediting just about anything.

The courts buy into it, because psychiatry has been given special status in the court system. The public buys into it, because they don’t have the experience to understand how paternalistic psychiatry is. And of course the medical industry buys into it because paternalism fits in with their views to “help” anyone who needs help, even when the help is intrusive, inappropriate and unwanted. The doctor knows best.

Psychiatry has a long way to go in moving into modern times. Psychiatrists want so badly to be taken seriously as medical doctors and legitimate scientists, but until they confront a history that is full of abuses, and a method that continues today to abuse authority, psychiatry will remain mired in an atmosphere of paternalism, controversy and resentment.