Dear Senators,I  am an electroshock survivor and co-founder member of MindFreedom Ireland.  I hope you will put an end to forced electroshock in Ireland.  We as a nation  know only too well what is like to be forced and battered.This also is a women's issue and unfortunately, we find it difficult to have a voice and are often comdemned to remain silent even by those who mistakenly think they are being helpful!  Two to three times more women than men receive electroshock worldwide.  This is our MindFreedom Ireland statement Some of our most active members are forced electroshock survivors (none of us gave informed consent).  We have attended the Seanad to support this bill.  We have campaigned vigorously against forced electroshock.  We are part of a wider movement called MindFreedom International.  One of our members called Elizabeth Ellis, who is a retired school teacher, is publicly forced treated as I write this letter. Let Ireland lead the way and be one of the first countries to end forced electroshock! Yours sincerely, Mary Maddock, MindFreedom Ireland, Board Member MindFreedom
I am aware that some women would be worried about throwing out the proverbialbaby with the bath water and would suggest simply mobilizing against the sexisminherent in ECT use. As this article demonstrated, however, although highlighting thesexism is important, trying to make the electroshock industry less sexist is hardly sufficient.Although it may or may not be possible to tone down the sexism that has beenendemic in the use of electroshock, the statistic of 2 to 3 times as many women as menwho were electroshocked is not promising. Moreover, social control over women andviolence againstwomen are hardly disappearing. What is even more fundamental, it isnot possible to make the procedure itself something other than what it is: electricallyinduced brain damage that severely and routinely diminishes people subjected to itand that has no medical efficacy. Given its nature, it is unacceptable to subject anyoneto it regardless of the intention or sensitivity of the people administering it. And givenits nature, it will inevitably be used on those whose brains are valued less.In ending, I would like to introduce a new development in the ECT saga that needsto be considered. Throughout most of its history, electroshock has been aimed primarilyat young and middle-aged women—hence, the profile of women in these sourcesand, indeed, in all relevant sources. Times, however, have changed. For the year 1999to 2000, as shown inWeitz (2001), 40% of the number of people shocked in provincialpsychiatric institutions in Ontario were women older than age 60 years, and 52% ofthe total electroshock administered was administered to women older than age 60years. Similar statistics may be found for other jurisdictions. In other words, at thisjuncture at least, though young and middle-aged women remain in jeopardy, disproportionatelywe are looking at elder abuse, the abuse of older women in particular.Although this is a horrific development, it is not surprising, for older women are notvalued by dominant cultures.Given that the elderly are already struggling with memory problems, given the generalvulnerability of this population, and given the resurgence in electroshock, there isan urgency to the situation at hand. This is a development that calls for new types offeminist activism. Correspondingly, it calls for new research into electroshock,including feminist interviews with a population that has not been interviewed on thisissue to date and is likely to prove enormously difficult to access.

Electroshock "According to the National

Head Injury Foundation, each treatment equals

one moderate-to-severe head injury. And as a

series of shocks are prescribed – eight

to fifteen on average and as many as one per

month on an indefinite basis – the wounding


Gary Null Psychiatrists have no objective test to know if a person

needs any of their treatments.  Psychiatry claims to be

part of the faculty of medicine but all its theories are in

fact beliefs. Yet, they have the power to make life and

death decisions.  One of them is to administer forced

electroshock on those they deem to need it.Most of the people who receive involuntary electroshock

are in fact eldery women.  Because electroshock

produces a grand mal seizure it can always cause severe

head injury.  There have been many cases of death as a

result of electroshock.  Yet, because psychiatric

treatment in general causes more harm than good many

eldery women and others worldwide are in threat of

receiving electroshock against their will.

MindFreedom Ireland strongly opposes coercive

psychiatry.  We consider it to violate the very people it

outrageously proports to help.  Forced electroshock is a

crime against humanity.   Let those who want to justify

it trust their humanity and they will find other ways to

help people in severe distress.MindFreedom Ireland