Riverview insider speaks out

Riverview insider speaks out
Elderly man has received over 70 ECTs against his will

Exclusive to ect.org

An insider at Riverview Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia is blowing the whistle on the continued weekly electroshock treatments of a geriatric patient.

This insider, whom I’ll call Bob to protect the person’s identity, says that Michael Matthews, age 70, receives an electroshock every Friday and has received over 70 of them to date.

“His mind is rapidly going down the tubes,” Bob said. “He used to be a delightful conversationalist with a good attention span.”

Bob added that the patient has asked them to stop, but feels “helpless.”

“It just breaks my heart,” Bob said.

When asked why he thinks they continue to give him the treatments, Michael said, “They’re trying to get rid of me. They think I’m a problem.”

Riverview Hospital has been under investigation by the province since mid-December, when a staff psychiatrist alerted Health Minister Corky Evans.

Staff psychiatrist Jaime Parades told Evans that the number of electroconvulsive therapy treatments ordered for geriatric patients like Matthews had more than doubled since doctors had been given a payment increase for the procedures.

Dr. Parades said that he had approached hospital administrators with his concerns, but that their response included “roadblocks, delay tactics and intimidation.”

Bob said that he felt frustrated in efforts to help Matthews and finally decided to approach activists in a last-ditch attempt to get some help.

“He had the sweetest disposition – something everyone commented on and appreciated. We all loved chatting with Michael. Gradually he has become more and more agitated, irritable, confused, and delusional. He talks to the walls now, falls asleep in the middle of sentences, tells us he is probably Jesus Christ, and rambles on endlessly in total nonsense,” Bob said.

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