Citizens Commission on Human Rights Demands the Royal College of Psychiatrists End the Use of ECT and All Coercive Psychiatric Practices

stop the torture

Volunteers marched through Edinburgh to demand the Royal College of Psychiatrists immediately act to ban the use of ECT and end all cruel and dangerous practices in the field of mental health

The UN and World Health Organization issued mental health guidance in October 2023, but the Royal College of Psychiatry (RCPsych) has still failed to direct members to comply. They have not directed members to cease using ECT (electroconvulsive treatment) and have not demanded an end to involuntary commitment. Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) staged a march through Edinburgh and a protest at the RCPsych International Congress, demanding the organization immediately act to protect the human rights and health of the people of the UK. 

The UN guidance states: “Coercive practices in mental health care violate the right to be protected from torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.” It calls for informed consent before any use of ECT, stating individuals who are “offered ECT should also be made aware of all its risks and potential short- and long-term harmful effects, such as memory loss and brain damage.” And it states ECT on children “should be prohibited through legislation.” The UK must act now to protect the human rights of those caught in the mental health system, says CCHR.

According to the UK National Health Service 2022-23 report, there were 51,312 cases of involuntary commitment in the UK that year alone. What’s more, the National Health Service paid for 1,989 acute courses of ECT to 1,835 individual patients in 2021. (An acute course of ECT is 6 to 12 treatments.) In 2019, more than a third of the ECTs administered were carried out without patient consent, 18 percent of which were even carried out without the second opinion required by the National Health Service. 

To raise awareness of the need for immediate action to end these and other harmful practices, CCHR brought its Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Traveling Exhibit to Edinburgh to coincide with the Royal College of Psychiatrists 2024 International Congress. That visitors to the exhibit at the Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue at 16 St Mary’s St. in Edinburgh were shocked to learn the facts and the history of ECT and other inhumane psychiatric practices is clear from feedback of those who toured:

  • An Austrian psychologist said she was sure that ECT was no longer used in her country and was horrified to learn that it is. 
  • A veterinary nurse said that if an animal is aggressive, it would be tested thoroughly to see what medical and physical problems might be causing it. It would not simply be given a drug. “Why don’t they do that with people?” she asked. She herself has been on Prozac for 15 years and has tried several times unsuccessfully to withdraw from it.      
  • A Spanish psychologist who has seen ECT being used
    in hospitals asked CCHR to bring the exhibit to Spain to help bring reform to his country.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a mental health watchdog founded in 1969 by psychiatrist Thomas Szasz and the Church of Scientology, inspired by author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard and his commitment to abolishing any and all physically damaging practices in the field of mental health.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top