Thursday, March 29 the Appellate Division will hear oral argument in Matter of Adam S. The case is scheduled for approximately 10 AM at the 45 Monroe Place courthouse in Brooklyn. Twenty-five year old Adam Szyszko is appealing an order authorizing Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center to involuntarily administer up to twenty electroconvulsive shock treatments. Pilgrim psychiatrists shocked Adam twice before a stay was obtained by his attorney Kim Darrow of Mental Hygiene Legal Services Second Department. Adam’s sister, Anna Szyszko, will be available to speak with the media following the hearing. At 11:30 she will hold a press conference outside the courthouse, together with representatives of Disabled In Action, Network Against Forced Electroshock, Brooklyn Mental Hygiene Court Monitors Project and other disability and human rights activists.

“This whole thing is not about Adam but about power for Pilgrim State Hospital,” said Anna Szyszko. “How dare they prevent us from trying treatments that have helped so many people just because they don’t offer them in their facility and insist on forcing Adam to undergo a procedure that does more harm than good -against his and his family’s wishes?” When asked for comment, Bill Brooks, Supervising Attorney of the Mental Disability Law Clinic at Touro Law Center said: “When psychiatrists want to treat, they will frequently take steps to do so regardless of whether the treatment conforms with the legal rights of patients.”

“This is not just one case,” remarked Connie Lesold of the Brooklyn Mental Hygiene Court Monitors Project, who has been following Matter of Paul Henry Thomas. “Pilgrim is openly using electroshock to stun disabled people into submission.” Nadina LaSpina of Disabled In Action added: “Running 150 volts of electricity through someone’s brain against his will is a crime against humanity.”

Comments (2)

K. Allan DaneJanuary 25th, 2007 at 3:02 pm

Psychiatry, since it isn’t a “pure” science, involves matters of opinion which are difficult to quantify in a purely physical sense.

Such a statement however does not mean that psychiatry is invalid: it simply means that other branches of medical science also are sometimes a matter of opinion although perhaps more likely to be quantifiable than

Personally, Alzheimer’s Disease frightens me. The larger question,however, is can medical science be sure of such a diagnosis? Could it be some other disease not known at present??? I believe that any honest medical scientist would quickly agree that there is doubt in such cases until the diagnosticians of such diseases have developed better tools for distinguishing various mental disorders from each other.

Since I am an Electrical Engineer, I have a viewpoint quite different from a paychiatrist. I have access to instruments by which I can measure things without significantly disturbing that which I want to measure: the psychiatrist frequently must trust his/her judgment! But please! No ECT for me, ever! A massive dose of sodium pentathol instead, please!

LuisaApril 13th, 2014 at 3:07 am

Michelle Wells:From my own experience as an ortho nurse, lognmite chiropractic patient and massage therapist, I will always advise the last two approaches first. I will be praying for a quick and powerful healing for you. But you are right, this experience will definitely build on your compassion and empathy for those suffering chronically. The Lord may be warming you up for a mission He is sending your way. Please tell Liz Hi for me. Have a happy new year.

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