FORCED ELECTROSHOCK HEARINGS FOR TWO PILGRIM INMATES ARE SCHEDULED

** 1) ** FORCED ELECTROSHOCK HEARINGS FOR TWO PILGRIM INMATES ARE SCHEDULED:

PAUL HENRI THOMAS HEARING ON FORCED ELECTROSHOCK CONTINUES TODAY

The hearing of Paul Henri Thomas continues today. It may be the last day of the hearing. According to court testimony Paul has already received 40 involuntary electroshocks against his expressed wishes at Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center in New York. The judge may order another series of forced shocks.

For details and news updates about Paul’s struggle see: http://www.MindFreedom.org

ADAM SZYSKO FORCED ELECTROSHOCK HEARING SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK, THURS., MARCH 29, 2001

Twenty-five-year-old Adam Szyszko is also struggling to resist his forced electroshock at Pilgrim. Adam’s sister, Anna, said his spirits are stronger, he wants to get out of Pilgrim, and he is more active in his resistance. In Adam’s case, the Temporary Restraining Order — agreed to by four judges — is sticking. Adam’s hearing on forced electroshock is scheduled for Thurs., March 29, 2001, slated for 10 am though it’s the second item on the docket so it may be a little later. Recommended time to be there is 9:30 am. The hearing will be on the first floor of Brooklyn’s Appellate Division 2nd Dept., at 45 Monroe Pl., Brooklyn, NY, USA.

A STATEMENT FROM ADAM’S FAMILY

Anna Szyszko, Adam’s sister, makes this public statement via Support Coalition International:

“Adam has been in Pilgrim six months now, locked up like a criminal. He hasn’t received any treatment because the hospital has nothing else to offer but ECT, yet they are not willing to release him into the hands of the family and an experienced psychologist who is willing to treat Adam with psychotherapy. It seems like it’s not About Adam but about power for Pilgrim State. The appeal is scheduled for March 29th. Anyone who is able to attend is welcome.”

Besides Adam and Paul, at least two others inside Pilgrim Psychiatric Center are also taking legal action to try to stop forced electroshock against their wishes.

Coercion, fraud and force in the administration of electroshock are a growing state-wide pattern in facilities run by New York Office of Mental Health.

See http://www.MindFreedom.org for updates.

Adam wins a stay!

Only days before Christmas, 25-year-old Adam Szyszko received forced electroshock. His family had repeatedly told officials at Pilgrim State Hospital that they opposed the treatment as well.

Adam’s sister Anna said that she spoke with one of the lead doctors the day before his first shock, and that the doctor gave absolutely no indication that they would proceed.

“It was all out of the blue,” Anna said. “They called my parents today and told them they would be doing it this morning. They’re playing some kind of game. It’s sneaky, and it’s unethical.”

An attorney on the case had found grounds for a stay, but the paperwork couldn’t be filed for two more days.

Anna said the hospital knew that this stay attempt was coming.

“They are set in doing what they’re going to do,” she said, sobbing. “They don’t care about Adam.”

She said that Adam has been doing so much better that there was even talk of a discharge. Anna attempted to get a meeting with the treatment team, but says they ignored her requests.

Adam was shocked again, but two days before Christmas, a judge issued a temporary stay until December 29. That prevented the hospital from giving him any further treatments against his will.

On January 8, 2001, I was excited to issue this brief news report:

“Concerning Adam Szyszko, the 25-year-old man being forcibly shocked at Long Island’s Pilgrim Psychiatric Center:

The judges ruled in Adam’s case today: He has won a stay pending appeal on March 29!!

This is excellent news – Adam is safe (so to speak) at least through that date.

On March 29, there will be an appeal hearing, which will only be oral arguments and more paperwork battles. No witnesses testify. It’s another battle to fight, but I’m feeling more hopeful.”

Score one for the good guys today!

Another stay issued September 17, 2001

Yesterday (9/17/01) an interim stay, pending decision on motion for leave to appeal, was granted by Court of Appeals Judge Victoria A. Graffeo in the case of Adam S. This means that Pilgrim Psychiatric Center is forbidden from administering electroshock to Adam S. until after the highest New York Supreme Court in Albany decides whether to hear Adam’s appeal of the Brooklyn Appeals Court’s decision, which was not in Adam’s favor.

The decision on motion for leave to appeal is calendared for September 26th, which means the Court will begin its review on that date. It is likely that the Court will take two weeks or more before rendering a decision. If the Court decides to give permission to appeal, it is likely that the stay will be extended an additional four to six months until the appeal is heard.

Thus, Adam is protected by court order from receiving electroshock until, at the very earliest, September 26. Due to the speed with which the court system works, it is quite likely that this protection will last weeks or months beyond that date.

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