More Forced Electroshock? Let’s Stop Bill in State of Washington, Now!

Posted by on February 15, 2019 in Activism, Legislature, Mental Health | 8 comments

ECT

Electroshock (also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT) runs electricity through the brain.

UPDATE 2/27/19: Looks like we won! The latest word from a staffperson at the State of Washington legislature, is that the proposed bill for easier involuntary electroshock is dead this session, and that no other bills have been amended to include this idea.

Some activists were concerned that the concept would simply be added as an amendment to another bill. However, loosening restrictions on forced shock are dead this session. This is the “understanding” of Kevin Black, staff coordinator/counsel for Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long-Term Care Committee, Senate Human Services. The next session will start in January 2020.

UPDATE 2/17/19: The  public hearing was canceled 2/15, apparently because of opposition. Please continue speaking out against this bill! According to a committee staffperson, Carly, if there is no hearing by 2/22, the bill is dead.

Original alert:

Incredibly, there is a proposed bill in the State of Washington right now that would make it easier to give involuntary electroshock (also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), over and against the expressed wishes of the subject.

I just phoned the committee that is looking at this bill, and you can email your opposition at any time. There is no time limit, though the sooner, the better.

Today, 15 February 2019, there was supposed to be a public hearing about this Senate bill 5842, but this hearing was cancelled.

You can email to stop this bill at any time, and since this bill may pass it is urgent that you speak out.

Below is an alert that I have created about this bill. (Thanks to Laura Van Tosh for this information.)

At the bottom is my brief initial email in opposition:

 

CALL FOR EMAIL TO STOP FORCED SHOCK

IN STATE OF WASHINGTON

SB 5842 Involuntary Electroconvulsive Therapy

Calls for involuntary electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to be added to the Washington State RCW (Revised Code of Washington), 71.05.153.

Emergency detention of persons with mental disorders or substance use disorders. This is the involuntary treatment procedure used for commitment procedures. Today psychiatric medication is used.

This proposed bill adds ECT as an option to be utilized against the will of a person during initial commitment procedures under above RCW.

 

ACTION: Please email your opposition to SB 5842 now, give some good reasons against involuntary electroshock!

carly.johnson@leg.wa.gov

Carly is a staff person at the Senate Committee on Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care, J.A. Cherberg Building, Olympia, WA.

 

BILL INFO.:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5842&Initiative=false&Year=2019

Sponsors: Reuven.Carlyle@leg.wa.gov annette.cleveland@leg.wa.gov manka.dhingra@leg.wa.gov

Senate Committee on Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care is where the bill is being heard.

 

Below is my initial brief email, which you can use as a model, but please write this in your own words:

14 February 2019

To: Senate Committee on Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care, J.A. Cherberg Building, Olympia, WA

From: David W. Oaks, Aciu Institute, Eugene, OR

Please halt the bill SB 5842, which would make it easier to give involuntary electroshock (also called ECT) to citizens of the State of Washington.

I have worked for human rights in mental health for more than 40 years.

  1. The World Health Organization in Geneva is the main world body on health issues. The WHO has opposed all forced shock, and has had this official position for years. Please inquire with WHO about this bill immediately.
  2. A few years ago, when I directed MindFreedom International, we had a major campaign to stop the forced shock of a Minnesota citizen. Please google this phrase: Ray Sandford electroshock
  3. Shock has never been formally approved by the FDA for safety and efficacy. So forced shock would be a violation by compulsory experiment.

David W. Oaks

Please consider copying your opposition to my comment area below, to inspire others to speak out.

Spread the word!

8 Comments

  1. Very good! This needs to be outlawed! Please e-mail me, maybe we can work together on this.

  2. Thank you for helping to spread the word. It’ is unclear if the bill is dead or will be. It could get attached to another bill, so resistance is needed.

    • UPDATE 2/17/19: The public hearing was canceled 2/15, apparently because of opposition. Please continue speaking out against this bill! According to a committee staffperson, Carly, if there is no hearing by 2/22, the bill is dead. An activist points out the concept could still be attached to another bill as an amendment. Keep up the pressure against this horrible idea!

      • There was no public hearing scheduled on this bill at all. Involuntary ECT still exists in law which is being revised as we speak. Thanks for your help.

    • There is a hearing on the bill today. Please make your voices known to legislators to stop this bill.

      • Correction, there is not a hearing today

        • True that.

  3. Will do! Thank you for alerting us to this!

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