Trends in ECT

ECT in Texas
Were you treated in a Texas hospital between 1993-2001? If so, please consider filling out this important form for an ongoing investigation of Texas hospitals and ECT.

Shock Doc Roster
Support Coalition International today organized the "Shock Doc Roster" to collect names of psychiatrists who use electroshock, train others to use it, or refer patients to those who do. If you would like to add a name to the ongoing roster, please read the instructions to do so. The term "shock doctor" is used in honor of Ernest Hemingway, who used it in anger while being forcibly electroshocked in 1961. He committed suicide a few days after release.
Send your listing to the Shock Doc Roster.

New ECT guidelines issued in UK:
UK - New guidelines on shock therapy
Electric shock treatment should only be used when other options have failed and where patients have been involved in the decision, according to new government guidelines.

Britain Issues Guidance on Use of Shock Therapy
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) should only be used to achieve quick improvement of severe symptoms in people with depression, catatonia or prolonged manic episodes, according to new guidelines issued by British authorities on Thursday.

Use of shock therapy restricted
Electric shock therapy should only be used on patients as a last resort, an NHS watchdog has ruled. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has said electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) should also be restricted to certain types of patients.

Guidelines on ECT use welcomed
Mental health experts welcomed new medical guidelines today for the use of electric shock therapy.

Psychiatrists' appeal to NICE to drop new restrictions on ECT fails as users' views win respect
An appeal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists to NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) to drop new restrictions on ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) treatments, contained in draft guidance, has failed.

I'll defy ECT guidelines, vows top psychiatrist
Scottish medic pledges to flout government ban on long-term use of electroconvulsive therapy. A leading Scottish psychiatrist has pledged to flout government guidelines and continue to give depressed patients regular electric shock treatment for periods of several years.

New Zealand: Specialist to review shock therapy
The Government has agreed to a review of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), but says it is a safe and important treatment option for severely depressed people.

No accurate data on New Zealand shock treatment
The Ministry of Health admits it does not have accurate figures on the use of electric shock treatment in New Zealand. The use of ECT in New Zealand is under scrutiny after Parliament's health select committee asked the Government to review its safety and effectiveness following a 3000 signature petition from the Patients Advocacy Group in Hamilton.

ECT in Scotland
This report from Scotland contains statistics and more.
Alex Doherty has written to Richard Norris of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). In the letter, Doherty comments on the publication "ECT in Scotland."

Shocking Treatment - Electroconvulsive therapy's return stirs debate on use
George Ebert is not certain how many of his memories are missing. He can recall that during a 1971 tour of Ohio with his family, his mental state first began to deteriorate. He recalls hurriedly trying to "cleanse" his life by throwing away most of his belongings, and attempting to hitchhike in the middle of the night from Columbus to Texas with his son in tow on a search for God.

Death of ECT
In Italy, where it began more than 62 years ago, ECT has almost been abolished. In some countries, however, ECT is still used inappropriately, particularly in elderly patients. There is no medical, moral, or legal justification for ECT, and the new requirements of modern psychiatric practice can all be achieved without it. Like prefrontal lobotomy and all previous shock treatments, ECT is non-viable. The death of ECT will help promote mental health and put the treatment where it belongs - in the archaeology of science.

Electrical Lobotomy
Psychiatrist and author Peter Breggin says shock treatment is little more than an electrical lobotomy. Breggin says electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) causes brain damage - and, he says, most psychiatrists know it. From the Kenora Enterprise (Canada)

Debate still rages
But ECT has made a comeback, mostly in the treatment of depression related symptoms. In 1997 Ontario doctors billed OHIP for 12,400 treatments. That is a jump from the 1993-94 figure of 9,506. Patients usually receive two to three treatments per week for two to four weeks.

How to increase income:
Add ECT to your practice

Under managed care, psychiatrists' incomes are shrinking. This article from Psychiatric Times advises practitioners to boost income by adding ECT.

Leaked documents reveal failures
Documents in Scotland reveal shocking failures in the use of ECT. This explosive report has been leaked by insiders, and points to excessive misuse of the therapy, widespread use of outdated machines, unqualified persons administering the treatment, and many other frightening allegations.

Why the media promotes ECT
An interesting look into the role of the media in promoting the idea that today's ECT is kinder and gentler.

Widespread concerns
From the UK, more concerns that ECT is poorly administered by badly-trained doctors.
Read a letter from a concerned shock doctor to others on a private mailing list.

At a public debate on ECT in the UK at the Institute of Psychiatry, both sides argued the issues. A final vote was taken on the motion: "This House believes Electro-Convulsive therapy is barbaric and ineffective."

Alarming figures from the UK
The figures emerged 24 hours after the government published new standards to improve mental health care, including greater rights for people with mental illness and more openness in treatment.

A quiet comeback
Electroshock making quiet comeback, raising concerns.

Cost effective?
ECT is cost effective, according to this article from Reuters, which cites a study from the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Human Rights in Uruguay
A human rights report details the use of ECT treatments to control patients, including the mentally retarded in Uruguay. Documents reveal that ten percent of institutionalized patients are subjected to this method of control.

New UK report casts new doubt on safety
One in four psychiatrists using controversial Electro-Convulsive Therapy in the North of England has experienced patients dying or becoming dangerously ill after treatment, according to a newly-published survey casting fresh doubt on the safety of ECT.

400 Shocks!
Woman sets record for ECT treatments; has over 400 shocks!