A public protest against the controversial psychiatric practice of electroshock will take place in Cork on Saturday, May 16th 2015.
The protest will coincide with similar events being organised around the world and is being held to honour the memory of Leonard Roy Frank, a lifelong opponent of electroshock who died earlier this year.
It is being organised by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based survivor/activist group and will be their 7th such annual protest. Personal testimonies will be given by people who have been the recipients of electroshock.
The practice involves passing an electric current through the brain provoking a grand mal seizure and causing cognitive dysfunction and brain damage. Latest figures from The Mental Health Commission reveal that 311 programmes or 2152 single 'treatments' were given to 244 people in Irish hospitals in 2012. Twenty seven people were electroshocked without their consent in keeping with Section 59b of the 2001 Mental Health Act which still allows for it to be given to a person who is "unable or unwilling" to consent, on the say-so of two psychiatrists.
As is the case worldwide, twice as many women than men were given electroshock in Ireland in 2012, the oldest being a woman of 92.
Member of The Campaign Against Psychiatric Assault and author of the recently published book ' Psychiatry and the Business of Madness' Toronto based Bonnie Burstow said "All of us in our own cities in our own different ways will be together protesting on May 16th. How wonderful that Cork, Ireland is once again part of an international protest against electroshock."
In addition to Leonard Roy Frank, MindFreedom Ireland are dedicating their protest to the memory of the late Dr. Michael Corry, the late Dr. Aine Tubridy and the late John McCarthy all of whom passionately campaigned for its abolition.
MindFreedom Ireland was founded in 2003 and in 2011 hosted a conference addressed by, among others, Limerick psychotherapist and author Dr. Terry Lynch, American journalist and founder of Mad in America Robert Whittaker and American lawyer Ted Chabasinski who had received electroshock as a child of 6 in Belleview Hospital in New York and who, along with fellow survivors Deborah Schwartzkopff and Mary Maddock, are the chief co-ordinators for the world wide May protest.
Founder of MindFreedom Ireland Mary Maddock said " Electroshock is a barbaric practice. I received 13 sessions of it after the birth of my daughter and it left me with permanent memory loss and dysfunction. We call for a total abolition of the practice."
The Cork protest takes place outside The Peace Park on The Grand Parade from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday May 16th and all are welcome.
We need to be informed to give consent.
It is very difficult to realize what is good or bad for you when you have not lived for many decades as an adult. It is almost impossible if your mind is altered by brain damaging psychotropic drugs. I received electroshock which is now described as modified 'ECT' for the first time two days after childbirth without informed consent. The consequences of being completely misunderstood and wrongfully 'treated' by many 'doctors' then was that I was not capable of understanding myself and the world I was part of. When I was a young woman I thought I was doing fine. Even as time went on and I had very serious visible adverse effects such as Parkinson's I was in such a zombie land that everything went over my head.
I now know after 15 years with a drug less, clear ,nourished body, mind and spirit that electroshock did damage me and many others over the years. I have been active and continue to be so thankfully since 2,000 and have met so many people who have been hurt by electroshock. Worldwide women continue to receive twice as much as men often without informed consent. In Ireland it was very difficult to find the figures at the beginning but when eventually with much effort they were disclosed they were similar to every other country two women to every man. Also private hospitals provide more electroshock than others and some hospitals do not provide it. All bio psychiatrists do not advocate electroshock as a 'treatment' whereas all bio psychiatrists 'treat' people with drugs. It is very difficult to find help without being viewed as an object in need of 'treatment' because where there is power there is money and it does talk!! While powerful people continue to promote drugs and electroshock people in need will still be needy! If humane alternatives were available and everyone was able to make an informed decision then electroshock would be deleted and our memories would be valued!
Brain damage is not a solution! Doctors who force brain damaging 'treatments' on others cannot call themselves healers. To force anyone to do something against their will is an act of violence. Many people receive electroshock without informed consent and many are elderly women!
MindFreedom Ireland want gentle, encouraging, humane assistance for those who desire support when they are in distress. Our government should be able to provide its citizens with the help they need.
MindFreedom Ireland does not agree with forced elctroshock. We see it as a form of torture and a denial of the human right of bodily integrity when it is administered against a persons will.
However, it should be noted that we are not trying to stop others from electing to have electroshock if that's what they really want - provided they are informed of the potential negative consequences and the statistical likelihood of a negative reaction. This would be the case with normal medical procedures and it should be the case with electroshock also.