Electroconvulsive therapy without consent in New South Wales

A recent article (Effectiveness of left anterior right temporal electrode placement in electroconvulsive therapy: 3 case reports) in the Journal of ECT by psychiatrist Alan Michael Weiss and colleagues at Hunter New England Mental Health and Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, described the use of maintenance electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on three women over the age of 65.

The first woman was aged 73, living in a care home and having ECT every two weeks. She had had 196 treatments.
The second woman was aged 77, lived with her son and was having ECT every two weeks. She had had 164 treatments since 2008.
The third woman was aged 84, living in a care home and was having ECT every week. She had had a total of 132 treatments.
The first and third women were receiving ECT with the machine on a very high setting – 706mC.

In spite of trying unilateral and bilateral ECT and a less commonly used form, bifrontal, the authors found that the treatments “were complicated by an inability to generate a seizure, poor quality seizures, and inadequate response”. So they tried an even less commonly used form, left anterior right temporal electrode placement, which they found to be more successful.

The authors said that the three women “lacked insight into their illness” and had been maintained on an involuntary basis under the Mental Health Act (NSW 2007), with a mental health tribunal approving the treatment every 6 months.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in ECT without consent, ECT worldwide. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Electroconvulsive therapy without consent in New South Wales

  1. Cheryl Prax says:

    Shame on them. They go after the vulnerable. Those women are not given enough time to get their thoughts back.

  2. markps2 says:

    From the article” lacked insight into their illness” , this means the women subjects did not think they were sick, and did not have the money or power to reject the “help” they were receiving.
    Prison that isn’t a prison because we call it a hospital.

    nuremberg code anyone?
    The ten points of the Nuremberg Code

    These are:

    1 Required is the voluntary, well-informed, understanding consent of the human subject in a full legal capacity.
    2 The experiment should aim at positive results for society that cannot be procured in some other way.
    3 It should be based on previous knowledge (like, an expectation derived from animal experiments) that justifies the experiment.
    4 The experiment should be set up in a way that avoids unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injuries.
    5 It should not be conducted when there is any reason to believe that it implies a risk of death or disabling injury.
    6 The risks of the experiment should be in proportion to (that is, not exceed) the expected humanitarian benefits.
    7 Preparations and facilities must be provided that adequately protect the subjects against the experiment’s risks.
    8 The staff who conduct or take part in the experiment must be fully trained and scientifically qualified.
    9 The human subjects must be free to immediately quit the experiment at any point when they feel physically or mentally unable to go on.
    10 Likewise, the medical staff must stop the experiment at any point when they observe that continuation would be dangerous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s