Some people think that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock, is one of those horrible treatments from yesteryear that civilized societies no longer undertake. However, approximately one million people around the world are given electroshock every year, including 100,000 Americans. Perhaps most disturbingly, some of the people who undergo this terrifying and risky treatment are children.
This statistic is set to rise as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) pressures the Food and Drug Administration to allow ECT to be used on children who are resistant to current drugs and therapies. The FDA is considering the draft rule, which will downgrade the risk of ECT from the highest category, Class III, to the only moderately risky Class II, placing it in the same category as condoms and contact lenses. That hardly sounds suitable when you consider the fact that the treatment entails sending jolts of electricity into the child’s brain, purposefully inducing seizures. It has been associated with serious side effects, including permanent memory loss, manic symptoms, heart problems, cognitive problems, confusion, breathing problems, brain damage and even death.
Should the FDA ultimately grant the request, more children will be subjected to this degrading and archaic treatment, which is said to have gotten its inspiration from the way pigs were given an electrical shock prior to slaughter to make them more docile and easier to kill. It is typically used on people who have depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and even autism.
A muscle relaxant is typically administered prior to the ECT treatment, which is also dangerous for adults and children alike. The pulse of current that is delivered in modern electroshock treatment is 7.5 times stronger than the electrical fences that are used to deter bears. Don’t our children deserve better treatment than this? (Click to Article)