Statement to the Press

After months of feeling hopeless and doubtful that anyone will take interest in improving my brother's situation and the situation of many others in the same desperate position, I, as well as my parents are happy and optimistic about the passing of this legislation. It's a great first step towards improving the quality of care for these patients. I hope it will be followed with further legislation to focus on the patient's right to choose alternative means of therapy as well as giving the family the ability to disagree with the doctor's recommendations and the authority to pursue alternative treatments.

It is frightening to think that electroshock is currently being performed without access to emergency medical equipment at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, where my brother has received it and is in danger of receiving more. Therefore, I think it is critical for the safety of my brother that the legislation requiring access to emergency medical equipment be passed.

Anna Szyszko
June 11, 2001