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 said, 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.
“Offer somebody the choice between waterboarding or forced electroshock, and a lot of our people who know what it is will say waterboarding,” Oaks said.
The Mad Pride movement includes groups and individuals that seek not only an end to forced treatment but to redefine their conditions as something to be respected instead of diseases to be suppressed.
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Man's Treatment Shocks Critics
Worse Than Waterboarding