I was. In fact, I was surprised that it is still being used at all!
In my non-medical but nevertheless fairly bright mind, shock therapy conjures up images of someone hooked up to a bunch of probes and then painful electricity is coursed throughout the body.
The user friendly term for it and what is most used is called “skin shocks”.
Skin shocks that inflict extreme pain.
So how exactly does this help someone?
Images of the past show that these electrical pulses can make you docile and slow for a time but not better.
They can make anyone so frightened at the thought of suffering through electric shocks, particularly if they have undergone it before, that they will naturally be kicking and screaming absolutely petrified at the torture that awaits them.
Notorious serial killer Henry Lee Lucas underwent 4 and a 1/2 year of intense shock and drug therapy and was actually declared “cured”. He then went on to kill many more people.
Why is the very controversial practice of shock therapy still being used on troubled children at the Judge Rotenberg Center? Is that still really going on in the United States.
You bet it is.
One place where shock therapy is alive and kicking is at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts.
An 18 year old boy, Andre McCollins was born with acute mental and behavioral difficulties and it appears he was tortured at the center with the use of the controversial shock therapy.
The centers founder, Dr. Matthew Israel, resigned after being charged with misleading a grand jury by destroying video footage of other students being shocked.
Andre’s mother Cheryl is suing three doctors and the Judge Rotenberg Center for negligence.
Here is a video that was shown in court.
So why is this practice still being used?
According to the Rotenberg Center, it is necessary and only used in 42% of the cases they have there and then only once per week
Previously when I surfed the Rotenberg Center they had a FAQ section of “aversives” that has disappeared likely in light of the negative press they have received.
The Rotenberg Center has been the target of controversy for years. In a way back machine snapshot, here is some information listed from 2006 on Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED) Skin Shock Treatment
Only 43% of JRC’s current school age population are receiving GED treatment; however, if we consider the entire population of residents, including JRC’s adult residents, the percentage rises to 56%. The reason for this difference is that JRC’s adult population includes a number of lower-functioning adults who have been attending JRC for many years and most of whom (85%) tend to need the GED treatment on a long term basis.
So, the adult population is not getting any better and are receiving “aversives” for life?
What do the shocks entail? They administer 2 second electric skin shocks via remote control through electrodes worn against the skin and many times are initiated manually by the staff.
Automatic punishment is also used by forcing the patient to sit down on a cushion. If they stand up, they are automatically shocked.
But wait they even provide the patients that are apparently tortured with a “Behavior Rehearsal Lesson”
The lesson is that patient is restrained and forcibly told to misbehave.
If the patient pulls away, he is shocked and if he follows the order to engage in the risky behavior, they are shocked even more.
The Rotenberg Center also will reduce the amount of food a patient receives as punishment and can without up to three-quarters of the daily required caloric intake if deemed the patient is misbehaving.
Globalization 101 notes that the Rotenberg Center has even made a stronger machine to deliver these shocks,
JRC developed the Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED) to deliver the shock treatment as a replacement of an earlier system that was deemed not strong enough. The GED-4 (the most powerful version thus far) delivers shocks via electrodes attached to torso, arms, legs, hands and feet. The GED-4 is worn as a backpack and the shocks (45.5 milliamps) are delivered for two seconds by remote. These shocks are extremely painful. Similar shock levels delivered to animals are considered a felony account in Massachusetts.
A felony to animals but OK to humans! JRC preaches that they engage in a reward and punishment system that works.
Do you think it works or are you horrified to find out about shock therapy still being used on troubled children at Judge Rotenberg Center?
If think that closure of the center is the way to go, there is an online petition to close the Judge Rotenberg Center that you can sign.