Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, has reportedly stated that “…the law will be changed so that unwilling patients will no longer be forced to receive ECT.”
At present, if an individual refuses ECT, his refusal can be overridden by the signatures of two psychiatrists.
However, not everyone is in favor of the ban on forced ECT. There’s an article by Marie Feely, Proposed ban on Involuntary ECT criticized published in irishmedicalnews in January 2012. The article reports on a survey of consultant psychiatrists published in December 2011. Ms. Feely writes:
“The study found that for involuntary patients who have capacity to consent but are unwilling to do so, 32 per cent of respondents said they would prescribe the treatment.” (Emphasis added)
1. There is no significant difference in outcome for real ECT vs. sham ECT (in which the individual is prepared, anesthetized, but not actually shocked). For references and discussion see Bracken et al Psychiatry beyond the current paradigm.
2. Loss of retrograde memory is a common and devastating side effect. Linda Andre’s book Doctors of Deception is very informative reading on this matter.
Ireland’s move to ban forced shock “treatment” is a great step forward, with regards to civil rights and curbing the abusive, dehumanizing, and destructive power of modern biological psychiatry.
I imagine that there has been a great deal of work done by survivors, activists, and others on this matter, and it is gratifying to see the dogmatic certainty of psychiatry being successfully challenged.
Psychiatry is founded on spurious premises and destructive practices. It is like a sand castle, and the tide is coming in.