Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Worse Than Waterboarding

The court order authorizing electroshock treatments for Ray Sandford says that when he arrived at a psychiatric hospital early last year, he was "grossly psychotic" and violent toward staff and other patients.

Sandford, who has been declared legally incompetent, said he agreed to the treatments at first, but after more than 40 of them he finds it hard to remember names and other things. His bipolar disorder is under control, he says, and he should have the right to say no.

The court disagrees, but advocates of the mentally ill who call themselves the "mad pride" movement have rallied to his defense.

"This is worse than waterboarding," said David Oaks, executive director of MindFreedom International, who led about two dozen people in a rally at the Minnesota Capitol this month to draw attention to Sandford's case.

Oaks: "Offer somebody the choice between waterboarding or forced electroshock and a lot of our people who know what it is will say waterboarding."

Sandford: "I just don't like the idea of them being able to force these treatments."

Sandford's caregivers persuaded a judge to order electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) plus a combination of anti-psychotic drugs.

MindFreedom, based in Eugene, Ore., opposes involuntary psychiatric treatment and all use of ECT, but mental-health professionals say ECT is safe and effective in many severely depressed patients for whom drugs have failed.

Full Article and Source:
Minn. patient wants right to refuse electroshocks

More information:
Minn. patient wants right to refuse electroshocks

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Remember Ray


Anonymous said...

Beware the psych people!

This week, a very elderly neighbor for whom I am health proxy was released from a brief hospital stay for neurocardiogenic syncope -fainting due to heart and circulatory problems, where the blood pressure drops upon gettingi up from a seated or lying position and he loses consciousness.

He told them he preferred vitamins to drugs, so they set him up for a psych exam. I was interviewed by a member of that team, and assured her that he was not depressed, which is what she appeared to be pushing for.

Lo and behold, what do they prescribe on discharge? A psychotropic Rx for depression!
And to make matters worse - a beta blocker, TO LOWER HIS BLOOD PRESSURE.

God, save us all from medmal!

Let's kill not only the lawyers, but the doctors, too!

Anonymous said...

I believe ECT is torture. Perhaps worse than waterboarding because it is forced upon our own citizens.

Ray Sanford should have the right to say no. And the judge on his case shouldn't be able to sleep until Ray Sanford is granted that basic right.

Anonymous said...

"Violent". Imagine being forced on a board with four point restraints and buckled down. Often times the environment contributes to "violence". Long term cares similarly induce violence in our beloved elders who are labeled "combative" and subjected to anti-psychotic drugs.

Put yourself under such conditions..........Would you go passively??

Mental health is the redheaded step child of medicine. It is not far beyond asylums of yesteryear. Street corners now substitute for care centers. How are psychotics tested and interpreted? Observation and interpretation is by the administrator of the drug.

Mental health patients, once labeled have few rights. Our beloved elder in long term care complained of sexual threats. Her fears were recorded in the medical record as "mental aberrations". Yet, she entered the hospital through the emergency room with a documented pubic area wound, (not investigated).

While mental health advocates encourage recognition of any problem, documentation of a problem puts one a risk forever.

It is rare that a patient such as Ray receives any support at all. He deserves more.

Anonymous said...

I thought this kind of stuff ended decades ago. What's next? The revival of lobotomies?

Anonymous said...

40 treatments? Where oh where is President Obama's formal or informal statement on this forced torture, abuse of an innocent person, a ward of the state?

I think all of these members of the guardianship loop of players, the legal and medical mafia need to experience for themselves what they are forcing on an innocent person.



Anonymous said...

Interesting view I agree with you anon where are the volunteers?

No volunteers to become a ward of the state proves a point doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely outrageous that someone would be forced to take these barbaric treatments.

I hope the movement to help Ray Sanford grows and grows!

Anonymous said...

You can see the experts spin the story their way and rationalize their behavior.


If Ray Sanford doesn't want shock treatments, then they shouldn't be forcing him.

Anonymous said...

I believe ECT is torture. And I believe the judge in this case sees Ray Sandford as a non-human who doesn't matter.

Guardianship is very impersonal. Wards are called wards so they are less than human beings. That way, when guardianship wards are abused, it's not a big deal in their hollow eyes.

Anonymous said...

I believe Judges, referees, lawyers, doctors, social workers who suggested ECT to somebody should try ECT first.