22 Mar

Mental Health Fraud is a Booming Business in Florida

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to investigating and exposing abusive and fraudulent psychiatric practices in the mental health industry, is bringing attention to the need for an effective system to verify mental health billing validity and, therefore, stop what is viewed as an epidemic in the area of insurance billing fraud.

Florida remains one of the top states for mental health insurance fraud. Recently, Sam Konell, a longtime liaison between mental health clinics and Miami-Dade’s criminal court, was sentenced on February 22nd to 5 years in prison for funneling state-court defendants to a corrupt clinic. One clinic, the Greater Miami Behavioral Healthcare Center, fraudulently billed Medicare for more than $63 million in exchange for personal kickbacks to Konell’s pocket. In fact, Konell personally profited an extra $432,829 (on top of his regular salary), costing taxpayers an estimated $25 million.[1]

In October 2017, Shawn Thorpe, President of Coastal Bay Behavioral Health in Jacksonville, faced charges for $1.4 million in Medicaid fraud. Thorpe partnered with Ruben McLain, a man who secretly operated under a false name since he was already banned from Medicaid remuneration due to earlier fraud crimes. Thorpe and McLain knew each other for years before they developed their partnership, yet it took $1.4 million of theft before authorities caught on. Worse still, Philip Esformes, owner of over 30 Miami-area nursing and assisted living facilities, stole $1 billion from taxpayers together with a hospital administrator and physician’s assistant. Their elaborate billing fraud scheme was the largest ever brought before the U.S. Justice Department.[2][3]

“Florida’s well documented history of health care fraud, including that of mental health, necessitates a better system for detecting and preventing fraud,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “Millions of dollars are stolen from taxpayers before anyone gets caught, not to mention thousands of vulnerable patients are abused like cash cows to profit unscrupulous administrators and criminal clinicians.”

Florida’s involuntary examination law is another example of potential fraud given the fact that a person sent for examination, known as a Baker Act, can be held for up to 72 hours before it is determined whether they even met the criteria for incarceration in the first place and the psychiatric facility still bills insurance for the stay. There were more than 194,000 Baker Act initiations in Florida during fiscal year 2015/2016 and with a reported average length of stay at 4.5 days not only is Baker Acting hugely profitable but the possible insurance billing fraud could be in the tens of millions of dollars every year.[4][5]

The gray area of what constitutes mental illness and the vulnerability of mental health patients appears to contribute to the ease with which fraud can be committed. As a prime example the manual psychiatrists use, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, grows every year with new disorders that are largely voted into existence by popular opinion and void of any scientific basis yet these “disorders” all come with an insurance billing code so that the psychiatrist can label a person and get paid for controversial “mental illnesses” such as Caffeine Intoxication Disorder.[6][7]

“Without a better system altogether for detecting psychiatric insurance billing fraud Florida will see the epidemic of fraud continue and the taxpayer foot the bill,” said Stein.

For more information on psychiatric fraud or to report abuse please call CCHR Florida at 727-442-8820 or visit


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Nikolas Cruz, Florida Shooting Suspect
27 Feb

Psychiatric Drugs and School Shootings

Nikolas Cruz, Florida Shooting Suspect

Photo Credit:

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights(CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to investigating and exposing abusive psychiatric practices in the name of mental healing, is calling upon Florida lawmakers to first investigate the plausible link between psychiatric drugs and violence before taking the advice of mental health professionals to increase funding and amend the mental health law.

Recently the nation and the world was shaken by an act of lethal violence when Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 students and teachers. Although there can be many reasons for this horrific tragedy, CCHR warns that the prevalence of psychotropic drug use amongst America’s children may be driving a percentage of these young people to commit acts of violence.

For the past 20 years, CCHR has been investigating and exposing the correlation between mass murder, violent crime, suicide and psychiatric drugs. During this time CCHR has reported that those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs have committed at least 36 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence.[1] This correlation is not surprising when you consider that prescribed psychiatric drugs, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs, have been documented by 27 international drug regulatory agency warnings, including the U.S. FDA, to cause side effects of mania, hostility, violence, and even homicidal ideation in a percentage of those prescribed.[2]

The apparent link between psychiatric drug-violence is also frequently made public by law enforcement. It was the case with 12-year-old Jose Reyes, who opened fire at Sparks Middle School in Nevada in October 2013, killing a teacher and wounding two classmates before committing suicide. The police investigation revealed that he had been prescribed the generic form of the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) and had it in his system at the time of death.[3] It was also true for 15-year-old Hammad Memon, who shot and killed another student at his middle school in Huntsville, Alabama in February 2010. Memon had a history of treatment for ADHD and depression and was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions” and had been seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist.[4] And the story was the same for 15-year-old Kip Kinkel of Springfield, Oregon who murdered his parents on the morning of May 21, 1998 before heading to school, where he killed two students and wounded another 25. Kinkel had been prescribed Prozac.

According to CCHR an investigation into the link is long overdue when you take into consideration that between 2004 and 2012 the FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program, known as MedWatch, received a staggering 14,773 reports of psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects, including 1,531 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, 3,287 cases of mania, and 8,219 cases of aggression.

“Throwing money at a mental health system that keeps failing and continues to use drugs that may induce violent and suicidal behavior in a percentage of those taking them will not prevent another tragedy,” stated Diane Stein, President of the Florida chapter of CCHR. “Cruz is a prime example of this failure – he was apparently medicated and in the mental health system but this did nothing to stop him.”[5]

Instead CCHR is urging Florida lawmakers to immediately look into the connection between psychiatric drugs and the deadly events that transpired in Parkland.[6]


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Stop Suicide
13 Feb

Study Reports that Suicide Risk Assessments May Increase the Risk of Suicide

Stop SuicideThe Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog that exposes human rights violations and is dedicated to the protection of children, is holding an open house this month at their center located at 109 N. Fort Harrison Avenue in downtown Clearwater to bring attention to alarming suicide statistics and the apparent connection between antidepressants and the reliance on suicide risk assessments.

Every 12 minutes in the U.S., someone’s life ends from suicide — an average of 44,965 people yearly — making it the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In 2015 alone, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide deaths were more than double those due to homicides, which means for every murder reported in the news, there were at least 2 other deaths that occurred due to suicide.

In response to these alarming statistics, the Florida chapter of CCHR is hosting an open house at their center in Clearwater for the purpose of educating the general public on the connection between the use of antidepressants, the reliance on suicide risk assessments and death by suicide.

“Too often people rely on unproven suicide risk assessments as a catchall when dealing with a person experiencing a crisis and unfortunately the assessments just don’t work according to some experts,” stated Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida.

According to an article published under Mental Health in Scientific American in March of 2017, new research of the past 40 years of suicide risk assessments research suggests that not only do these assessments not help but may cause harm by increasing the risk of suicide.

This same article reports that:

  • 95% of high-risk patients did not die by suicide
  • 50% of the suicides came from the lower risk categories
  • there has been no improvement in the accuracy of suicide risk assessments over the past 40 years
  • no statistical way of identifying individuals with a high risk of suicide exists
  • the four strongest suicide risk assessment factors (previous self-harm, physical health problems, male gender and suicidal intention) were so prevalent that they were of no use in determining if someone is at risk for suicide
  • the widespread use of suicide risk assessment diverts clinicians from real engagement with patients thereby potentially increasing the risks of suicide

Combined with ineffective suicide risk assessment, patients labeled with depression or suicidal ideation often receive prescriptions for dangerous psychotropic drugs laden, and even labeled, with side effects that encourage the exact symptoms they are marketed to treat. For example, Celexa, a common antidepressant, has more suicidal warnings attributed to it than any other side effect and is linked to a staggering 559 cases of documented suicide. Psychiatric patients who are prescribed these life-threatening psychiatric drugs not only receive no effective assessment or treatment, but they go home with pills that only exacerbate their mental health challenges.

“With 1 in 6 Americans currently taking psychotropic drugs — while suicides continue to rise — Americans need look no further than their medicine cabinets for major chemical contributors to the increased suicide statistics our country faces,” said Stein.

For more information on the open house, the truth about psychiatric drugs or alternative solutions including educational materials, please call CCHR Florida at 727-442-8820, or visit

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Who Speaks for the Child?
13 Feb

Mental Health Watchdog Continues to Fight for Children Who Remain Target of Baker Act Misuse

Who Speaks for the Child?The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog that exposes human rights violations and is dedicated to the protection of children, applauds the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department for taking action following the handcuffing of a 7-year-old Miami boy who was taken from his school, in a police car, to a psychiatric facility under the Baker Act just 11 days ago.

On January 25th, a 7-year-old had a temper tantrum at his school, the Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Center in Miami, after being told to stop playing with his food. In response to his behavior, which included striking a teacher, the school’s administrators called the Miami-Dade police department to come arrest the boy and transport him to a psychiatric facility for involuntary evaluation citing the Baker Act as their process. Devastated, Mercy Alvarez — the boy’s mother — filmed her son being transported in handcuffs using her cell phone’s camera and shared it across social media.

The resultant public outcry prompted Chief Moffett of the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department to direct officers to first seek the approval of “a lieutenant or a higher-ranking official before deciding to remove and detain a disruptive student for a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital.” However, Chief Moffett was not the first member of law enforcement to take action to prevent the inappropriate Baker Acting of children in Florida. In September of 2017, Sheriff Jerry L. Demings of Orange County issued a General Order that specifically instructs the deputies in that county to make reasonable efforts to notify a child’s parents before initiating or executing a Baker Act.

“While we applaud Chief Moffett and Sheriff Demings for their actions to protect Florida’s children the only real solution is to amend the law so that parents are brought into the process,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “There is a bill in Tallahassee right now that would make this a reality and it is our hope that our lawmakers see fit to make this change.”

The Baker Acting of children for simple disciplinary problems is an all too common occurrence in Florida. The Baker Act is Florida’s mental health law, named after Maxine Baker — the former State Representative from Miami who sponsored the Act. Its main and original intent was to ensure patient rights and prevent abuse, but tens of thousands of Floridians, including children, are being victimized through inappropriate use of the Baker Act sending people to psychiatric facilities who may not even meet the criteria for involuntary examination. In fact, according to the Annual Report of Baker Act Data, revealed in March of 2017, 32,475 minors were sent for examination during the fiscal year 2015 to 2016.

In fact, on the very same day of the 7-year-old being handcuffed, a 10-year-old boy — just 15 miles away at Gulfstream Elementary in Miami — was begging his teachers not to call the Baker Act number when he became agitated for not wanting to do schoolwork at recess time. Having been nearly Baker Acted just 2 years prior, Kevin knew that “Baker Act” was synonymous with punishment. Thankfully, Kevin’s parents had rushed to the school just in time and effectively prevented him from being hand-cuffed and transported to a psychiatric facility.

Unfortunately, many parents are unaware that their children have been transported to a psychiatric facility until it’s too late for them to intervene. Once at a psychiatric facility the child can be held for up to 72 hours. During this examination period, children can be administered psychiatric medications with side effects including depression, suicidal ideation, heart problems, and violence if an emergency treatment order is issued.

Senate Bill 270, titled, “Involuntary Examination and Involuntary Admission of Minors”, if passed, would amend the Baker Act to “provide that a designated law enforcement agency may decline to transport a minor 14 years of age or younger to a receiving facility for involuntary examination if current law requirements for declining transport are met and the minor’s parent or guardian agrees to transport the minor to the receiving facility; provide specific criteria for taking a minor 14 years of age or younger to a receiving facility for involuntary examination, including consent of the minor’s parent or guardian; change the law so that the involuntary examination of a child must be initiated within 8 hours after the patient’s arrival at the facility and require that a receiving facility release a minor 14 years of age or younger without delay to the minor’s parent or guardian upon request of the parent or guardian.”

Any persons living in Florida who are interested in protecting children from abusive Baker Acting are encouraged to sign this petition to stop the involuntary examination of children without parental knowledge at

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13 Feb

CCHR Florida Exposes Psychiatric Ties to the Holocaust Using Acclaimed Documentary

HolocaustThe Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog organization dedicated exposing abuses in the field of mental health, co-hosted a complimentary dinner event in commemoration of International Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, January 26, 2018 with the Tampa Church of Scientology at the National Historic Landmark, Ybor Square, where those in attendance learned more about ties between psychiatry and the origination of the Holocaust.

Joined by international Israeli singer Ms. Judy Bechar, who performed a special song in memory of the victims of this horrific period in history, attendees discussed personal ties to the Holocaust and shared actions that can be taken to spread more awareness of tolerance after learning about psychiatry’s shocking role in the systematic murder of 6 million Jews as exposed in the documentary Psychiatry: An Industry of Death.

This documentary was the inspiration behind the creation of a permanent exhibit which presents the history of psychiatry as well as information on the state of psychiatry today using interviews with more than 160 doctors, attorneys, educators, survivors and experts on the mental health industry to shine the light of truth on the multi-billion dollar psychiatric industry. Located at the CCHR center in downtown Clearwater, almost 5,000 people have toured the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum since it opened in 2015 including elected officials, attorneys, psychiatric nursing students and concerned individuals from across the state. The 2-hour self-guided tour is free of charge and open to the general public 7 days a week.

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13 Feb

CCHR Florida To Host International Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration

HolocaustThe Citizens Commission on Human Rights(CCHR) of Florida, a nonprofit mental health watchdog organization dedicated to eradicating psychiatric abuses, will be participating in the International Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration on Friday, January 26, 2018 by hosting a dinner event to gather the community in remembrance of the Holocaust.

The systematic murder of around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, known commonly as the Holocaust, but also referred to as the Shoah, is commemorated each year on the day that the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Soviets, nearly 8 months before the official end of the war. The Holocaust Memorial Day, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, refers to various countries’ designated annual day of commemoration honoring the victims, survivors, and rescuers of the Holocaust during the Nazi German regime.

CCHR will be co-hosting a complimentary dinner event with the Tampa Church of Scientology at the National Historic Landmark, Ybor Square, located at 1300 E. 8th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605 on Friday, January 26, 2018. Open to everyone, from 5:30 – 7:30 PM, attendees will hear international Israeli singer, Ms. Judy Bechar, perform a special song, “My Yiddishe Momme,” in the memory of the victims. Ms. Bechar and CCHR Florida’s Executive Director, Samuel Guillard, will give a brief presentation that expands on the Holocaust, its origination, and the widespread impact it has on society even today.

In fact, before the Nazi regime even came to power, German psychiatrists proposed the extermination of mental health patients and developed processes and systems to murder patients by the thousands with euthanasia, including eugenically sterilizing patients. Then, during Nazi Germany’s reign, organized psychiatry operated 6 psychiatric facilities that aimed and succeeded in the killing of 100,000 German mental patients. These psychiatric facilities provided the training, personnel, and technologies to create the mass extermination camps for the Holocaust which ended up killing millions of Jews and other peoples that the Nazi psychiatrists deemed unworthy of life. Medical professionals who participated in the post-Holocaust Nuremberg trials concluded that the Holocaust would not have factually taken place without psychiatry’s influence and irreplaceable role.

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15 Jan

Mental Health Watchdog Aims to Protect Elderly from Baker Act Abuse

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to exposing human rights violations as well as protecting the elderly, applauds lawmakers for addressing the issue of Elder Abuse during the current legislative session in Tallahassee.

The overall mental health law in Florida, commonly referred to as the Baker Act, allows for the legalized involuntary examination of senior citizens. When a Baker Act occurs an elderly person can be sent against their will for an examination and the receiving facility is then legally allowed to hold the senior for up to 72 hours. According to the Annual Report on the Baker Act, released in March of 2017, there were 194,354 involuntary examinations in 2016 — more than doubling from 2001 — with 1 in 10 initiated on persons 65 years of age or older.

“CCHR is very concerned that the Baker Act is being abused. Seniors, especially those with dementia, are being taken from their homes or care facilities for psychiatric examinations when they don’t actually meet the criteria for a Baker Act in the first place,” said Diane Stein, President of CCHR Florida. “Seeing quite a few bills introduced this year with the intention of protecting the rights of elderly citizens shows that our lawmakers are concerned about this issue and want to make positive change.”

Over 13,800 of Florida’s elderly, including those with dementia, were sent for involuntary psychiatric examinations in 2016, forcing the stress of physical transport to Baker Act facilities on these seniors. It is well documented that transferring an elderly person, and specifically one suffering from dementia, puts them at risk for depression, anxiety, and similar behavior disturbances, which may then result in the senior being treated with unnecessary psychotropic drugs which come with many side effects.

Moreover, senior citizens who find themselves admitted for psychiatric evaluation are sometimes later informed that the criteria for Baker Acting was never met, that there was no evidence of mental illness, and instead it was found by clinical staff the senior simply needed rest, proper nutrition, or an adjustment to baseline medication.

Additionally, polypharmacy, which is the concurrent use of multiple medications, has doubled in the past decade among retirement-age Americans despite warnings from geriatric medical organizations. In fact, the number of office visits resulting in multiple pharmaceutical prescription has risen from 1.5 million in 2004 to 3.68 million in 2013 — more than a 50% increase — with rural areas showing the highest surge. Those diagnosed with dementia are even more susceptible to polypharmacy and specifically psychotropic drugging. According to the Office of the Inspector General, 304,983 elderly nursing home residents in the U.S. were given dangerous and often deadly antipsychotic drugs, 88% of which were prescribed off-label for dementia.

“Many retirement-age Americans are taking at least 3 psychiatric drugs but yet don’t have a mental health diagnosis on record,” said Stein. “It is our duty to protect our state’s elderly and many of the changes to the law being proposed this year will help ensure our seniors receive the care and help they deserve.”

For more information on the protection of elder rights under the mental health law, please call 727-442-8820 or visit


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First Responders
08 Jan

Florida Bills Could Force Taxpayers To Fund Harmful Psychiatric Services for First Responders

First RespondersCurrent Florida statutes require that there be clear and convincing evidence of mental or nervous injury to determine benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation law for Florida’s first responders. However, recent bills calling for revisions to the standard for demonstrating these types of injuries has landed on the 2018 session agenda for Tallahassee legislators’ vote and these changes could potentially endanger first responders through the increased prescription of psychiatric drugs.

If passed, these bills would remove the requirement that a physical injury accompany a mental or nervous injury in order to determine benefits for Florida’s law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics. Supporters of the change cite the number of firefighters who commit suicide each year as the reason the change needs to be made, while opponents state that the cost to taxpayers is prohibitive.

While everyone agrees that first responders need help, easier state-funded access to psychiatric services will most likely simply result in higher prescription rates and, unfortunately, more prescription drug-related deaths. According to the most recent Medical Examiners Report published in November 2017, prescription drugs, including psychiatric drugs, continued to be found more often than illicit drugs, both as the cause of death and present at death, accounting for 61% of all drug occurrences in the report. The drug that caused the most deaths was cocaine followed closely by benzodiazepines, which are a class of psychiatric drugs used to treat depression and anxiety . Benzodiazepines have been linked to confusion, irritability, aggression, and suicide.

“Although the intention of these bills may seem noble at first glance, greater access to taxpayer-funded psychiatric services through workers’ compensation is not the answer,” stated
Diane Stein, President of the Florida Chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
“Instead, our first responders deserve better — they deserve real help and easier access to successful alternative treatments.”

1. Florida Department of Law Enforcement “Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons by Florida Medical Examiners” Published November 2017. Accessed January 7, 2018.
2. Famakinwa, J. “Florida bill to expand PTSD benefits for first responders criticized.” Published December 13, 2017. Accessed January 6, 2018.
3. Fennell, L. “Mother Says ‘I believe antidepressants drove my son to kill.’” Published May 14, 2015. Accessed January 6, 2018.
4. Perry, S. “From Psychobabble to Biobabble: How drug money has come to dominate psychiatry.” Published April 15, 2010. Accessed January 6, 2018

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21 Dec

Mental Health Watchdog Calling for Investigation into Psychiatric Drugging of Millions of Children

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to protection of children, is calling for an investigation into the heavy psychiatric drugging of children; especially foster children, in Florida.

A report from the research arm of Florida’s child-protection system released in 2015 showed that foster children are being put on psychotropic medications without caregivers following proper procedures and that 11 percent of the children in foster care had active prescriptions for at least one psychotropic drug. While a review of 140 children’s files showed just 20 percent of these children met all the key requirements for administering such medication.[i]

Following the tragic death of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers in 2009, who was found hanging from a shower fixture in his foster home after having been prescribed two “black box” drugs intended for adults – the Florida policies for using psychotropic drugs on foster kids were updated but this has not solved the problem.

The psychiatric drugging of children is not just confined to the foster care system. In 2011 a two-year investigation concluded that kids in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas were “prescribed psychotropic drugs at rates 2.7 to 4.5 times higher than other children in Medicaid in 2008.”[ii]

Currently 8 million U.S. children are being prescribed psychiatric drugs, with more than 1 million between the ages of zero to five.[iii]   Children are being drugged simply because psychiatry has pathologized normal childhood behaviors, and repackaged them as “mental disorders.”  The result is that millions of children are being drugged for behaviors reclassified by psychiatry as “disease.”

As a result, CCHR is calling for an investigation into the psychiatric drugging of children in the United States. Individuals are invited to the center, located at 109 N. Fort Harrison Avenue in downtown Clearwater, to learn more about the dangers associated with psychiatric drugs as well as alternatives to medication. To learn more, please call 727-442-8820.





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21 Dec

ECT: The Ultimate Child Abuse

It is hard for many to believe that ECT is still legally performed. Yet many psychologists and psychiatrists still insist this barbaric “treatment” does something more than damage brains.

For instance, Edward Shorter, PhD believes that sending up to 450 volts of electricity through a child’s (or an adult’s) developing brain is a good thing, a sort of therapy. Here is what he has to say:

“There has been an unwritten taboo in psychiatry, and a reaction of shock and horror in the general population, to the idea of giving convulsive therapy to those under 18.

“But is this unfavorable reaction wise? Are we denying children access to a treatment that is safe and effective in adults?

“This denial is not compatible with good medical ethics, which demand that we make effective treatments of proven benefit available to all, regardless of social class, gender, economic status, or age. We do not deny the elderly hip transplants or heart transplants because they are elderly.

“But we deny children access to convulsive therapy…This is ageism in reverse, and terribly unfair.” 1

Terribly unfair? Many people would find Edward Shorter’s comments offensive at best. He is comparing a life-saving heart transplant to an act of incredible violence against a child, an act that may permanently damage that youngster’s chance for a normal, happy life.

Shorter insults legislators who have banned ECT for children by calling them “crackers in the state legislature” He says “The arrogance, the provincial, uninformed, know-nothing arrogance, defies the imagination.”

What defies the imagination is the arrogance of men like Shorter, who have absolutely no proof that ECT is safe for children or anyone, yet blindly insist that ECT should be as popular as penicillin in treating anyone, even children, who are suffering with mental distress.2

On the website Aftershock, a woman named Jane poignantly describes the trauma and heartache this brutal psychiatric treatment created in her life.

“I relive my own grief and trauma. I grieve for all the people who are duped into thinking shock would help, and they would return to their lives made whole by electrically induced seizures.

“I experience grief every time a person stops by the shock support group asked us shock veterans how long it took before we started feeling normal again- for our memories return. Answer? Many of us never recovered. Were permanently disabled. And countless irreplaceable memories are lost forever. This person is on the verge of realizing a horrible reality; they were lied to. Their damage will likely be unrecognized. Help will be withheld. Cultivated skills, and capacity to learn and love, may be lost forever. Their most precious memories; walking down the aisle on their wedding day, their children’s childhoods, friends and all the other prized moments that tell them, this is who you are, these are the people who gave your live meaning.

“The life they lived before and the world they knew are gone.

“I grieve even more for those who never chose shock, but had it forced on them…”

She then continues, referring to the abuse children have undergone at the hands of psychiatrists and their ECT treatment:

“I grieve over those shocked against their will like Wendy Funk, children like Ted Chabsinski, Sue Clark Whittenberg and Julia Hoeffler Welton. People violently assaulted, many left to carry their trauma along with their damage long after it occurred.

“They didn’t even have the illusion of informed consent like many of us did.

“All of this suffering, all of this heart ache, and doctors like the ones who conducted this study maintain their willful blindness and enthusiastically promote this destruction assault to the brains of suffering people.” 3

The victims of ECT are speaking out. Their words, difficult though they may be to face, are the words that should be listened to regarding ECT. These men and women know firsthand what it is like to live with permanent brain damage inflicted by a psychiatrist and his ECT device.

One might think of it as a “review” of sorts. When looking for a new computer, reading the hype written by the computer manufacturer will not be as helpful as googling the opinion of recent users.

The psychiatrist has a vested interest in promoting this device. But victims of ECT have experienced the violence of this device first-hand and many of them are not afraid to make their tragic stories of permanent brain damage known.



2    ibid


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