‘It’s Torture’: Critics Step Up Bid to Stop Use of Electric Shocks on Children


From The Guardian: “A coalition of advocacy groups led by Disability Rights International have written this week to the human rights arm of the Organisation of American States (OAS), based in Washington, to request urgent action. The coalition is calling on the pan-American authority to demand that the U.S., which is one of its 35 member states, impose a federal ban on the method.

The petition argues that JRC’s use of electric shocks, in combination with restraints and isolation rooms, ‘constitute[s] cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture.’ It cites the work of Juan Mendez, the UN’s former special rapporteur on torture, who in that role in 2013 released a report that concluded that the ‘rights of students of the JRC subjected to electric shocks and physical means of restraints have been violated under the UN convention against torture.’

Mendez told the Guardian this week that he had hoped that the practice would have been prohibited by now. ‘The use of electric shocks to control the behavior of children inflicts pain and suffering that at least rises to the level of cruel and degrading treatment and in some cases is definitely torture. That is prohibited by state, national and international law.’

Laurie Ahern, president of DRI and the lead author of the new petition, said the use of electric shocks amounted to ‘state-sanctioned child abuse. It’s torture. That wasn’t acceptable in Guantánamo Bay, but it’s apparently acceptable in a special-needs school in Massachusetts.”

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  1. Below are two videos of the “aversive therapy” used at JFC.

    Since this method is torture, these videos are very violent (screams of pain, bloody wounds, laughter of torturers, etc.)

    This psychiatric treatment is legal and APPROVED by the US justice.

    “in June [2018] a family court judge stepped in and ruled that the activities of the center were legal and must be allowed to continue.”

    Same source.

    Video shows student being shocked, CBS News.

    JRC FDA petition April 2014 by Greg Miller, Fox News.

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    • Thanks for the links.

      As with political prisoners, the “death penalty,” etc. much of the pressure on the U.S. needs to come from the international community. Hopefully the recent court decision regarding liability for manufacturers of ECT machines will spark a new wave of anti-shock activity. And when the issue finally hits here front and center, with some long-awaited media attention, anti-psychiatry people should be prepared with a devastating analysis of psychiatry itself, not just ECT. We should strike while the electrodes are hot.

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    • Not clicking I saw that video once and that was enough.

      JRC said its residents “could not be effectively treated with other forms of treatment” in other centers that included “massive dosages and combinations of powerful anti-psychotic medications which have dangerous and sometimes permanent side-effects, including death”.

      These people frame the argument just like the fake news – you must pick the lesser of 2 evils Democrat vs Republican no other choices.

      They should try heroin instead of shocks and neuroleptic poisons.

      Opiates are non toxic > http://www.users.on.net/~rmc/drugs.htm

      Palliative care, pleasure drugs, why does no one talk about that option ?

      Say you has some disease that you knew in the near future was going to make you become disabled like the people at JRC and you were making a living will, would you chose restraints, shocks, nueroletic poison or euphoric sedation with the feel good drugs ?

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      • Maybe show the kids kindness and compassion instead of brain damage and torture…but that would be just plain nutty.

        As Breggin points out in an article from years back, if they were doing this as a form of punishment for actual crimes committed, a bunch of human rights groups would be breathing down their necks but torturing/crippling/killing (through negligence) the innocent are all acceptable. They’re only “treating” “useless eaters” and “defectives” after all.

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  2. “‘…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.’
    ~Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey”

    How low can our country go? Shame on Matthew Israel and that judge. We must end this torture of our handicapped children. This is sick, morally repugnant, and wrong. It needs to end.

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