End State-Sponsored Violence Against Women: Toronto: Rally and March May 10

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Maysie Maysie's picture
End State-Sponsored Violence Against Women: Toronto: Rally and March May 10

I attended the march and rally organized by CAPA a few years ago but won't be able to attend this year.

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End State-Sponsored Violence Against Women!
Mother's Day
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Toronto

March @ 1:15 PM
Gather at the North-east corner of Spadina and College.

Rally @ 2:00 PM Please join us at the Queen's Park Legislature if you will not be marching. Possible performance by singer-songwriter Faith Nolan! Featuring Linda Andre, author of Doctors of Deception, and keynote speech by Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo!

Join us for this family event!
Rally will include testimony by ECT (electro convulsive therapy) survivors, music, live theatre, and food!
For further information, please contact Dr. Bonnie Burstow, bonnie.burstow@utoronto.ca

Event proudly sponsored by Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault Co-sponsor: Maggie's. 

Endorsed by: Street Health, Resistance Against Psychiatry, Greenspiration, Nellies, Friendly Spike Theatre, Sistering, the Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor/Advocate Program (George Brown College), the Women's Counselling Referral and Education Centre, Opportunities for Advancement, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the Transformative Learning Centre, Call Us Crazy, the Centre for Women's Studies (University of Toronto), MindFreedom International, and the Mad Students Guerrillas.

 

N.R.KISSED

I was going to post this today, you beat me to it.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I bet we're on a lot of the same listserves. Smile

Will you be going? I'm really sorry to miss it.

N.R.KISSED

Rally tommorow.

 yes I will be there

G. Muffin

[Never mind, I've addressed my questions via email to Dr. Burstow.  I'll post her response if/when I hear back.]

Except I wanted to leave in re this preposterous thread title:

If we're going to ignore the men (big surprise), shouldn't we be focussing on elderly women?  Wouldn't that be more accurate?

G. Muffin

From publisher's description of Andre's book (on ect.org):

 

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Meticulously researched, DOCTORS OF DECEPTION builds a solid case that ECT can never be justified scientifically, medically, or morally.

 

I have COMPLETELY lost respect for Linda Andre. And she's otherwise such an awesome anti-psychiatry activist. What a bummer.

 

Here's what I wrote to Burstow (unfortunately, before I found the blurb on Andre's book):

 

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Re: Tomorrow's Anti-Shock Rally

 

Could you please comment on the following?

 

Is this about banning electroshock or forced electroshock?  It's a critically huge difference.  I'm with David Healy on electroshock but I'm with Thomas Szasz on forced electroshock.  I've never been aware of where Linda Andre is on that spectrum. 

 

If there's informed consent, what's the problem?  I wouldn't be alive to type this if I hadn't undergone the procedure.  If Andre et al wants electroshock abolished, I'm going to have to reconsider whether I want to be anti-psychiatry or not.

 

MindFreedom International is against forced drugging, not against psych meds per se.  I know David Oaks pretty well and I've heard him publicly state this.  I can't remember him specifically saying the same for electroshock, but the principle still holds.  My consent is informed.  I'm aware electroshock causes brain damage.  I'm aware the side effects are horrendous.  Yet, still, I prefer it over suicide.  What right does anybody else have to tell me otherwise?

N.R.KISSED

 I'm not entirely sure what Bonnie might say although I think I have a fairly good idea but as a survivor of ECT I think I can commnet

The issue of informed consent is dependent on the accuracy of the information given. Psychiatry misinforms people by telling them that ECT is a safe and effective technique with minimal side effects. I was shocked (pun intended) when David Healy wrote the book with Edwin Shorter(ghost written by the Shock father Max Fink. This book repeats the psychiatric cant that shock is safe and effective and in the process dismisses the testimony of thousands of people who have been damaged by shock . They dismiss this testimony essentially as the rantings of disgrunteled crazy people, psychiatrists disregarding their patients experience is hardly new though.

 

Another issue is the matter of consent. When someone is in suicidal crisis they are in a severe psychic pain, so severe they are willing to end their lives to escape it. To what extent is it consent to offer a dangerous and unverified treatment to someone who is willing to do anything to escape their pain.

Finally I can appreciate that you feel that ECt was of benefit to you and I don't mean to be insensitive or pedantic in pointing out that depression in itself is not a fatal condition. Many of us have experienced suicidal crisis and severe depression and survived. There is no evidence to suggest that people who experience ECT are less likely to commit suicide than those that don't.

G. Muffin

Thank you for your thoughtful post.  I agree with you that informed consent is a complicated issue.  I also agree that electroshock is a dangerous and drastic procedure.  And, of course, depression doesn't have to be fatal.  Suicidal feelings often are fatal, though.  And there is very good evidence that when I experience ECT I am less likely to commit suicide.  It's a personal choice and a difficult one and a choice that should not to be taken away from me. 

 

Anyway, I did hear back from Burstow:

 

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We are in favour of banning all electroshock.  The problem with informed consent, which was Breggin's position for decades, until he was forced to see that this would not work, is despite people trying, no one is ever getting accurate information, because the doctors know that if they were, no one would agree to it. 

 

And I responded:

 

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You are incorrect.  The accurate information is available and I prefer electroshock to suicide.  Your position endangers my life.  On electroshock, as on all psych treatment, I'm pro-information and pro-patient's choice.  Your blanket assertion that "no one would agree to it" so it shouldn't exist is as fascist a position as forced psychiatry.

 

Added:  NRK, I often read meaning that's not intended.  Would you clarify the following, please?

 

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Finally I can appreciate that you feel that ECt was of benefit to you ....

 

Does the word "feel" here mean that my experience should be denied? And, if so, isn't that exactly what we hate about the other side? Could you not have said instead "Finally I can appreciate that ECt was of benefit to you ...."?

N.R.KISSED

G. Pie wrote:

 

Added:  NRK, I often read meaning that's not intended.  Would you clarify the following, please?

 

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Finally I can appreciate that you feel that ECt was of benefit to you ....

 

Does the word "feel" here mean that my experience should be denied? And, if so, isn't that exactly what we hate about the other side? Could you not have said instead "Finally I can appreciate that ECt was of benefit to you ...."?

It was not my intention to deny your experience, I respect your experience. I am however challenging/questioning the conclusions that you have drawn from you experience. If you had said that you felt better after ECT or after ECT you no longer experienced suicidal thoughts or impulses than I have no reason to dispute that. You did however say that "I wouldn't be alive to type this if I hadn't undergone the procedure." which is  a conclusion that is not really verifiable. I say that again as someone who was actively suicidal, I know I had a strong desire to die and actually made attempts, the only real conclusions I can draw is that I am alive only because I didn't successfully commit suicide. The point being that having suicidal thoughts and impulses as much as it increases risk of action it does not mean someone will kill themselves. 

The other issue is in scientific terms even if you did feel better, non-suicidal after ECT that is still not conclusive evidence that ECT was the cause of you feeling better. People feel better often due to a  placebo effect, people can experience a spontaneous recovery due to other conditions or circumstances. ECT might have been the cause of you feeling better but it is not something that can really be determined. I believe there was actually research done in which patients were either given ECT or just given the pre ECT aneasthetic and they found no difference in recovery rates.

Now i am not someone who believes in denying people access to things they consider necessary for their well being even if it is having blunt force trauma applied to their brains but I don't know any way that true informed consent can be guaranteed when psychiatry is so deeply engaged in deception.

 

In terms of Linda Andre's book I would recommend reading it before drawing conclusions it looks like an exceptional work

http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/acatalog/Doctors_of_Deception.html

 

G. Muffin

I guess you're right.  My theory isn't verifiable because I can't go back in time, decline electroshock, and see if I end up dead.  I shouldn't have said I would have died without it.  What I should have said is that my suicide attempts were progressively more life-threatening and the feelings and behaviours stopped in their entirety after electroshock.  Had I continued with such attempts, it's more likely than not that I would have died by suicide.  When the liver specialist says "Only an organ transplant will save your life now," that's good and verifiable evidence that your suicidal feelings are life-threatening.

If this was due to placebo, great, then next time I can just have the anaesthetic.  Perhaps it's not even a placebo, perhaps anaesthesia itself has anti-depressive effects.  If there are such studies, I've yet to run across them.  If such studies existed, wouldn't such evidence be front and centre in the anti-electroshock debate?  If such studies exist, and if they are valid studies, I will immediately support an electroshock ban.  Where can I find these studies?  Why don't they have their own tab on ect.org?

I did read some excerpts from Linda Andre's book and, although I think she's a gifted writer, I'm not interested in this book.  From the bits that I read, it seems she takes the extreme examples and presents them as the average patient's electroshock experience.  Just as it is ludicrous for psychiatry to present ECT as harmless, it's just as ludicrous for anti-psychiatry to say it's uniformly toxic and should be banned.  Extremism is really boring to read.

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Now i am not someone who believes in denying people access to things they consider necessary for their well being even if it is having blunt force trauma applied to their brains but I don't know any way that true informed consent can be guaranteed when psychiatry is so deeply engaged in deception.

Again, you have me "considering" it necessary for my well-being.  Would you be willing to grant that there's a possibility that it actually is necessary for my well-being?  And, although electroshock is certainly a closed head injury, "blunt force trauma" is exactly the type of hyperbole that Andre et al engage in.  Even with psychiatry being engaged in deception, that doesn't mean patients cannot inform themselves.  I don't ask a realtor if it's a good time to sell my house.

N.R.KISSED

The Sham ECT Literature: Implications for Consent to ECT

The author reviewed the placebo-controlled literature on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression. No study demonstrated a significant difference between real and placebo (sham) ECT at 1 month posttreatment. Many studies failed to find a difference between real and sham ECT even during the period of treatment. Claims in textbooks and review articles that ECT is effective are not consistent with the published data. A large, properly designed study of real versus sham ECT should be undertaken. In the absence of such a study, consent forms for ECT should include statements that there is no controlled evidence demonstrating any benefit from ECT at 1 month posttreatment. Consent forms ...

G. Muffin

I used to subscribe to EHPP and I've read this article and it wasn't that impressive.

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A large, properly designed study of real versus sham ECT should be undertaken.

Any idea if such a study has been done? I would be very interested in the results.

I don't know what to make of the difference between one month and during treatment. In one of his books, Breggin said the effects of electroshock last as long as it takes to recover from the head injury. Could that be one month?

G. Muffin

N.R.KISSED wrote:
I was shocked (pun intended) when David Healy wrote the book with Edwin Shorter(ghost written by the Shock father Max Fink.

NRK, this is libel.