ECT certified order in Minnesota

NoForce Activists –  The following is a scanned copy of a ECT certified
court order that was filed in Hennepin County District Court on Sept. 16,
2002.  I pass this along for informational purposes with permission from the
Respondent who requested that her name and month/day of her birth remain
annonymous.  The Respondent’s desire is to let all concerned about forced
psychiatric treatment see for yourselves what is happening in Minnesota.

At this moment I am not aware that this file has been sealed.  When I called
Hennepin County Mental Health Court at 2:14 PM (CDT) to inquire about the
status of a “Motion To Stay Entry of Judgment and Ammended Findings Of Fact”
that the Respondent’s attorney told me she on September 17, 2002, the clerk
told me that I would have to speak with the Supervisor of the Mental Health
Court about this motion.  I left a voice mail message for the Superviisor to
call me.

When I called back to speak with the clerk again and ask whether the file had
been sealed at 2:45 PM, the clerk was gone and my question could not be
answered by the person who answered the phone.  The Supervisor was in a
closed door meeting,  so I left another message with the receptionist, and I
ensured my messages were recieved by the Supervisor again at 4:17PM.  At the
time this email is being sent I have not heard back from the Court about the
status of the motion or the file, and the Hennipin County Mental Health Court
closes at 4:30 PM (CDT).

I was cut off from seeing the Respondent by the Conservator on Tuesday, the
day before the first scheduled ECT treatment.  The Conservator, who also
prohibited Louise Boute of WellMind-MN from seing the Respondent when she was
warehoused at a Minneapolis nursing home, is not happy with me trying to help
the Respondent to exercise her annual right to petition the court for the
Conservator to be replaced and that she be allowed to go live with her
mother:  The Respondent put her request into writing on July 25, 2002 and it
was given to the staff of the nursing home several days later:  On August 7th
the Respondent was hospitalized and on August 20th the petitions for
commitment and forcedf ECT/Neuroleptics were filed by the hospital.

Given that (1) I purchased the certified copies of this ECT and the
commitment and Neuroleptic orders as it was open to the public, (2) that the
Court is aware that I purchased these copies; (3) that I have recieved
verifiable verbal permission by the Respondent to share this information with
mental health activists/advocates/  professionals/consultants and those
interessted in forced treatment; and (4) that I have not been notified by the
Court that the file has been sealed, I am passing this information on.


Jerri Lynn,
Social Justice Activist/Advocate

Although I intend that the electronic copy of the ECT court order printed
below be accurate and that I have editied out specific personal information
per the Respopndent’s request, I cannot take personal responsibiliy for any
errors that may occur in the electronic scanning and transference of this
court order. The purpose of this distribution of this document is for
educational purposes only.


02 SEP 16   AM 10:30


In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: File No: P8-02-60415


Respondent DOB: XX-XX-54

This matter was heard by Patricia L. Belois, one of the Judges of this Court,
on September 12, 2002, pursuant to a Petition for Authorization to impose
Treatment Electroconvulsive Therapy, filed herein on August 20, 2002.

Petitioner, Michael Popkin, M.D., was represented by Elizabeth Cutter,
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, A-2000, Hennepin County Government
Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487, (612) 348-6740.

Ruth Y. Ostrom, Attorney at Law, 301 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 270,
Minneapolis, MN 55415, 612-339-1453, was present on behalf of Respondent, who
was present in court.

Barabara Jackson, M.D., the Court-appointed examiner, and Derrinda Mitchell,
Respondent’s Court appointed Conservator of Person and Estate were present.
No guardian ad litem was appointed for Respondent because her Conservator
provides that function pursuant to an existing Court order from another

Based upon the file and record in this matter, the evidence received,
including testimony from Charles Pearson, M.D., Derrinda Mitchell, and
Barbara Jackson, M.D. and one exhibit, the court makes the makes the

1. Respondent is 48 years old. She was committed dually to the Heads of the
Hennepin County Medical Center and the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center
as a person who is mentally ill by Order of this Court filed September 6,
2002. In that Order, the Court found that Respondent was mentally ill with
Paranoid Schizophrenia. Respondent’s present diagnosis is Paranoid
Schizophrenia and Depression, NOS. Her treating physician has also diagnosed
Respondent with Anxiety Disorder, NOS. Respondent is currently hospitalized
at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

2. The Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatry/Chief of Psychiatry for the
Hennepin County Medical Center, Michael Popkin, M.D. (hereinafter Popkin) has
petitioned the Court for authority to administer up to 15 treatments of
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) per week for a period of up to five weeks to
Respondent, followed by maintenance treatments at an unspecified frequency
for the duration of the current commitment. Testimony in support of this
Petitioner’s Petition was given by Respondent’s treating physician, Charles
Pearson, M.D.  Petitioner believes that ECT will relieve the symptoms of
Respondent’s mental illness and provide other benefit to her, in particular,
ECT is expected to: resolve Respondent’s psychosis which is refractory to
treatment with neuroleptic medication; improve Respondent’s social
withdrawal; and lead to simplification of her medication regime by reducing
the number of neuroleptic medications she will need to take to control her

3. Krishna Mylavarapu, M.D.,(herein after Mylavarapu), is the staff
psychiatrist at the Hennepin County Medical Center who will administer the
ECT to Respondent. Respondent will be anesthetized prior to the
administration of the ECT. The only pain Respondent should experience from
the ECT would be the minimal pain from the injection of the anesthetic and
perhaps a transitory headache. There is a very remote risk of an adverse
reaction to the anesthetic in the range of 1:20.000-50,000. Respondent may
experience a short-tern memory loss as a consequence of the proposed
treatment This memory loss may be permanent, but the effects of it can be
fully mitigated by relearning the lost information, such as what she had to
eat during the meal before the procedure. ECT does not involve surgical
intrusion. The intrusion comes from electrical impulse directed into
Respondent. s brain to induce a specific type of seizure activity.

4. The use of ECT during inpatient hospitalization is the best treatment,
according to contemporary professional standards, that could render further
custody, institutionalization or other services to the Respondent
unnecessary.  ECT is not an experimental treatment.  It has not been
prescribed for Respondent as part of any research project. Its use is widely
accepted by the medical community of this state.

5. The Court’s examiner, Barbara Jackson, M.D. (hereinafter Jackson),
believes that the use of ECT to treat Respondent’s mental illness is both
necessary and reasonable. She testified that the benefits Respondent is
likely to experience from ECT outweigh its risks to her. Jackson also
testified that Respondent is not competent to weigh the benefits and risks
associated with ECT treatment for herself.

5. Respondent’s Conservator, Derrinda Mitchell, testified that she believes
that the benefits of the proposed treatment, most particularly the
possibility that Respondent’s medication regime could be simplified and the
exposure to medication side effects better controlled that way, outweigh the
risks involved and that the use of ECT to treat Respondent’s mental illness
and that the use of ECT could be in Respondent’s best interests.

6. The Court has considered less intrusive methods of treatment for
Respondent’s illness including the use of various psychotropic medications
both alone and as part of augmented pharmacological regimen. This was
rejected because the use of psychotropic medications to treat Respondent to
date has not sufficiently relieved the symptoms of Respondent’s mental
illness so that she can be released from the acute care facility safely to
which she is now committed.

7. Respondent cannot rationally weigh the risks and benefits involved in the
use of ECT to treat her mental illness because she does not believe that she
is mentally ill and she has an irrational fear of ECT fueled by information
that her mother provides to her about what the mother believes is the lethal
nature of ECT.

1. The evidence is clear and convinces the Court that treatment of the
Respondent’s mental illness using electroconvulsive therapy is necessary and
2. Respondent does not have the capacity to give or withhold consent to the
use of electroconvulsive therapy to treat her mental illness.
3. The benefits to Respondent from the administration of electroconvulsive
therapy to treat her mental illness outweigh the risks associated with the
treatment and justify the intrusion into her privacy as needed to conduct the
electroconvulsive therapy without Respondent’s informed consent.

The Heads of the Hennepin County Medical Center and the Anoka Metro Regional
Treatment Center are authorized to administer to Respondent up to 15
treatments of electroconvulsive therapy per week for up to five weeks,
foIIowed by maintenance treatments as often as once per week for the duration
of the commitment ordered September 6, 2002, pursuant to Price v. Sheppard.
239 NW2d 905 (Minn, 1976) and Minn. Stat §253B,03, Subd. 6b.

Patricia L. Belois Date Judge of District Court
Probate/lMental Health Division

Comments (3)

Julie SchillerMarch 25th, 2009 at 4:57 am

That could’ve been me. Minnesotan, 48, history of manic/depression. I was hit by a truck, suffered a concussion, and had my ECT spiral up out of my subconscious back into consciousness. Years of PTSD left me mentally weak and unable to function normally. Fortunately, I had wonderful mental health advocates who supported me and helped me climb out of my abyss back into a functioning indivdual. ECT never goes away. The problems that it tries to address are not targeted in a direct manner; talk therapy and medication are a much more effective long-term treatment for temporary mania/depression.

JodiMay 14th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I had the ect’s in “06-08″ I had depression and anxiety. I was hospitalized in Jan “08″ and I think it was my third treatment, that night I had a stroke. I was not seen by a MD for 3 days. My Psychiatrist just said that it was a side effect and and my left side paralysis would go away. Finally the MD saw me and they rushed me to the UofM and found that I had 2 miny strokes and also found an anyuerysm. I believe that I was coursed into it and now I am still having memory problems and some cognitive issue. What do we do

JodiMay 14th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I forgot to add. This last November, I had a brain anyuerism coiled and they found 3 more.
I believe that it was never stated in the consent form that this was a sever side effect.

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