Go straight to the journals and read more about ECT and its effects, as well as the issue of informed consent. One of the biggest criticisms about contemporary ECT research is that the leading researchers are those who make their living from ECT - writing papers, books, and yes, owning the companies that manufacture not only the machinery, but the accessories (mouth guards, and so on).
The leading names in the ECT industry, to aid your reading, plus the companies they are affiliated with:
Max Fink (Somatics; Max is considered the grandfather of American ECT, and thinks it's perfectly okay to give the treatments to toddlers!)
Richard Abrams (Somatics, plus writes the bible on ECT)
Charles Kellner (Somatics, Mecta)
Harold Sackeim (Mecta)
Here you will find official statements from a variety of organizations and agencies. These statements represent "official" views on electroconvulsive therapy. You will also be able to read about the politics surrounding the issuance of some of these statements - some of these are highly controversial.
If you're confused by the studies, read the statistics. You can read the original numbers as collected and make your own conclusions. Unfortunately, only a few states collect data on ECT. ECT activists are demanding that a federal law be enacted to make data collection mandatory. As it stands, even the statement you hear constantly, that "100,000 to 200,000 persons each year undergo ECT" is simply a guesstimate. Nobody really knows, because data collection is not done.
If you would like to see mandatory recordkeeping concerning ECT, write your congress person and write to the FDA. Vermont just passed a new law that will require recordkeeping...so we're making progress!
Learn more about CTIP, the world's largest shock survivor organization. You can join online for free!
This newsletter for ECT survivors from the UK has ceased operations due to budget constraints.
From the UK, another fine issue of the ECT Anonymous Newsletter...this is the summer 1999 edition. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it (it's a free download). You can read the table of contents here. Don't miss the article on a kind of therapy for depression!