Ted Chabasinski is an attorney and human rights activist in Berkeley, California. In 1944, as a 6-year-old boy so intellectually gifted he jumped from first grade to third he was taken from his foster home in the Bronx to New York’s Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced “schizophrenic”, because his mother had been labelled “schizophrenic”. There he began a series of 20 electro-convulsive shock treatments. The boy, Ted Chabasinski, was one of hundreds of children used in ECT experiments. Tests since condemned as barbaric. He remained an inmate in a state psychiatric hospital until the age of seventeen. Chabasinski survived and became active in the civil rights movement and ultimately an attorney.
Chabasinski led a successful effort to ban ECT in the city of Berkeley, California, in 1982, which voters overwhelmingly passed, only to be overturned by well-funded psychiatric interests.
In January 2007 Chabasinski acted as the attorney for the late psychiatric survivor activist and author Judi Chamberlain, the medical journalist and author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker, and the director of MindFreedom International David Oaks in opposing a motion by Eli Lilly to extend an injunction to conceal documents that revealed that the company had known for the previous decade of the potentially lethal effects of Zyprexa ( an antipsychotic )and had engaged in an illegal off-label marketing campaign.
As a patients’ rights lawyer, Chabasinski continues to champion human rights, and writes, speaks, and blogs on issues of individual rights and freedoms.
Most recently, he has organized an International Day of Protest Against Shock Treatment, being held on May 16, 2015. There will be demonstrations in many countries and cities around the world.
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