07-17-12, 05:21 PM #1
UN probes use of shock therapy in US special needs school
Ok so in 2002 Andre McCollins an 18 year old suffering from autism was skin shocked while at school because he didn't respond to a request to remove his jacket. He was then shocked (see video link http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fea...751585930.html), tied spread eagle on a bed and then shocked several times over a period of hours. A lawsuit was brought against the school and a settlement was made with the family; the case was said to be an isolated incident.
Skin sock therapy is generally brought before a judge for approval before being used, there are those who claim this therapy, aversion electrical shock therapy is helpful in changing difficult problem behaviour even though medical professionals are not in favor of the treatment.
The UN is now probing the issue it says is against international law and is asking the US government to investigate the practice, the US government hasn't intervened and local court efforts to have it banned outright have failed.
Would you support the use of skin shock therapy on special needs adults and or kids if it showed to positively change behaviour? What should the limits be for such treatment?
Remember that the recipients of this treatment are in no position to give consent. Consent is issued by courts, the school and parents. This kind of reminds me of the Clockwork Orange dilemma; Does society have the right to implement a torturous treatment to change violent, bad and or problematic behaviour if its shown to be successful?
07-17-12, 05:27 PM #2
07-17-12, 05:31 PM #3
07-17-12, 05:39 PM #4
I don't have a problem with real electroshock therapy, but to shock people as negative reinforcement is just cruel.
Also, you can't have more than one brownie, there is a risk of overdose.
07-17-12, 05:45 PM #5
07-17-12, 05:48 PM #6
I'm sure one can find at least one example of almost any kind of therapy working. But the danger is applying this to people with negative results.
07-17-12, 06:03 PM #7
They don't call it electric shock treatment:
"The most commonly used “aversive” procedure at JRC is an electrical stimulation device manufactured by JRC called the Graduated Electronic Decelerator (“GED”). The GED unit consists of a transmitter operated by a JRC staff member and a receiver and stimulator worn by the student. The receiver delivers a low-level surface application of electrical current to a small area of the student’s skin upon command from the transmitter, as part of a designed behavioral treatment. There are no harmful side effects and minor side effects may consist of reddening of the skin and, on rare occasions, the appearance of a small blister, both of which are temporary. For many individuals, the GED is required only during the first few months of treatment, and is no longer necessary, or is necessary to a far lesser and diminishing degree, after that period. The students receive only one application per week on average. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has affirmed a Probate Court order authorizing the use of the GED at JRC as an appropriate intervention. See Guardianship of Brandon Sanchez, 424 Mass. 482 (1997); see also JRC v. DMR, 424 Mass. 430 (1997). Over one hundred peer-reviewed articles have been published in the professional literature supporting the safety and effectiveness of skin-shock and eight articles deal with the specific device (“SIBIS”) which is the forerunner of JRC’s GED device." http://www.judgerc.org/progdescbrief.html
So why are they allowed to use it? Why aren't they using skin shock adverse therapy on teenagers in a regular high school? I mean the explanation in support of the practice is in quotes below and if its good for mental retardation then it should be good for problem teenagers too no?
"The aversives employed at JRC are safe, effective, and professionally approved by a Peer Review Committee and Human Rights Committee under procedures outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation (“MA DMR”). See 115 CMR 5.14. They are used pursuant to regulations of the MA DMR and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (“MA EEC”). JRC does not use aversive techniques until a Massachusetts Probate Court approves their use on an individual basis. JRC follows the MA DMR regulations requiring these treatment techniques to be used in a safe, well-documented manner. 115 CMR 5.14. JRC creates for each student a written behavior modification plan detailing the treatment’s rationale, duration, conditions, goals, and a detailed monitoring plan. 115 CMR 5.14(4)(c). A parent must sign a detailed aversive therapy consent form before JRC will incorporate such techniques in a student’s treatment plan and the aversive treatment is included and made part of the student’s Individualized Education Plan or Individualized Service Plan."
Basically the student wears the device and when they display troublesome behaviour they get whacked by a student aid worker who carries the zapper in their pocket. I mean its that raw! I can't believe people are allowing this to happen to their kids in the US. If this were being done in Bangladesh everyone would have a fit.
07-17-12, 06:18 PM #8
I don't mean negative physical effects, but the negative effect of causing pain to someone who may just be autistic and unresponsive. What's the difference between that and child abuse?
07-17-12, 07:43 PM #9
I dont believe I have heard of this place/methods before. With a slight skim through articles/videos, it seems to me there are abuses of this 'treatment'.
In the above case, an adult (he was 18) wearing a jacket is not self harm, violent, or an action that requires behavior modification, let alone 7 hours of being tied down spread eagle and shocked. Additionally, how is this man to comply with instruction if he's tied down?
Mother Jones article from 2007:
Another alarming feature of this 'schools' practice is no drugs. Not so long ago, AA held that position, all drugs are bad but came to the realization taking medicine is not drug abuse. It seems to me this place needs to update its position and come to the realization that sometimes drugs are a benefit for people whos minds are wired differently.
Now I need to finish the MJ article.
07-17-12, 08:07 PM #10
@Spidergoat-What's the difference between that and child abuse?
Evidently the courts in Massachusetts sees a great difference. In child abuse you have to physically touch someone, in skin shock therapy you just have to press a button.
07-17-12, 08:14 PM #11
I wasn't aware that they didn't issue medication. Is this therapy a replacement for medication? I can imagine that its much cheaper to not have to administer drugs and only press a button when problems flare. I know the 18 year old wasn't being violent at the time but the problem with just pushing a button to change someone's behaviour is it leads to a slippery slope. I mean I can imagine using that on my husband several times a day just because. Remember the Milgram experiment? Pushing a button to cause pain helps distance you from the action and if you have a student who cannot communicate their thoughts and feelings then its easy to justify the treatment as being beneficial. But you have to remember that its not just the school who is in favor of this treatment, its being upheld by the courts and parents, and the school says even the students (the latter being highly unlikely). What I don't understand is how the courts are in a position to sanction such treatment. I would have thought there would be a medical association in charge of such things.
Last edited by Mrs.Lucysnow; 07-17-12 at 09:39 PM.
07-17-12, 08:26 PM #12
07-17-12, 08:53 PM #13
07-17-12, 10:29 PM #14
The girl in the video appears to be dong fine after whatever medical problem she had as a youngster. Of course she might not actually be doing as well as she seems. But she's far from exhibiting autism.
I doubt this will gain any traction in the UN. I wonder if they ever took it to court?
I think shock aversion therapy could have limited applications, but not while holding the patient face down for two hours.
Still, I'm reminded of this:
No, it's not ethical. spidey's brownies are ethical. They're just not legal (in all states).
Ethical is strapping the inventors and officials into a restraint chair and subjecting them to all the accumulated dosages ever adminstered, while tatooing "I AM A DUMB-ASS" on their foreheads. The shock can be justified as a means of diverting their attention from the needle pricks.
All of the folks who participate should get an ample brownie according to spidey's recipe, so they can demonstrate, as the punishment is being meted out, that same aloof detachment as the morons did when they were punishing the students.
07-18-12, 06:51 AM #15
GREG MILLER, FORMER TEACHER'S AIDE AT JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER: No. If you look at the student's behavior, if the student has, say, out of seat without permission, if rather the student is out of her seat to give you a hug or to stand up.
And ask raise your hand and ask to go to the bathroom or if the student -- any reason student is out of their seat, it is still consider aggression and you shock them period. There's no question about why they are out of their seat, you just shock them.
07-18-12, 02:37 PM #16
We should probably just tell the UN to suck it.
07-18-12, 02:47 PM #17
07-18-12, 03:02 PM #18
07-18-12, 08:07 PM #19
McCollins is strapped face down and restrained by staff, yelling for help with the fear evident in his voice before the shocks are administered. In another scene, he is seen running away from doctors and trying to hide before they once again use the painful therapy on his skin.
McCollins' body stiffens and shakes, and the teenager screams and begs for help while being shocked. On the day the video was taken, McCollins was shocked 31 times, according to testimony.
Andre McCollins' mother, Cheryl McCollins said that she found her son three days later in a "catatonic" state when she visited the school, and took him immediately to Children's Hospital in Boston. He was diagnosed with acute stress response caused by the shocks, she said.
"I couldn't turn Andre's head to the left or the right. He was just staring straight. I took my hands and went like this," she said, waving them as if in front of his eyes. "He didn't blink."
I guess causing severe pain to a severely autistic child (because even at 18, he is mentally a child) who wouldn't understand exactly why they were harming him and causing him that much pain (after 2 hours of this, the lesson isn't learned as all he would have been focusing on would have been the pain), so much so that it left him catatonic due to the "acute stress response" from his 'treatment' doesn't count as "long term physical harm"..
He didn't take off his coat in class. To punish him, staff at a U.S. school for mentally handicapped children shocked the autistic boy 31 times, leaving him brain damaged.
"These devices are much stronger than police stun guns (1-4 milliamps)," says Gregory Miller, former teacher at JRC. "Unlike stun guns, the electrodes most commonly used at school are spaced 3 – 4 inches apart so that the electrical volts passing through the flesh create the maximum amount of pain with those amps and volts."
In McCollins' case, school staff used the powerfully painful electric shock device (45 – 91 milliamps, at 66 volts) on McCollins over the course of seven hours for not taking off his coat in class.
After his "therapy" was over, McCollins was admitted to a nearby children's hospital and diagnosed with acute stress response caused by the shocks. They said that the shocks could have killed the boy.
How were they not arrested for this?
And this does not really seem to be an isolated incident. The New York State actually completed a report on this Center and their findings were disturbing to say the least.
07-18-12, 08:33 PM #20
Can someone please explain to me how this is not a) cruel and unusual punishment and b) torture under the international convention against torture
Before someone mentions ECT they are not the same at all, a patient reviving ECT firstly has been through even antidepressant they can and is still catatonic so CBT won't work and it's done under anasetics because the purpose is for the electricity to change brain chemistry (release increased levels of neurotransmitters) NOT to cause pain
By Raven in forum World EventsLast Post: 04-04-06, 09:58 AMReplies: 5
By LaLuna in forum World EventsLast Post: 02-23-05, 05:51 PMReplies: 174
By Redoubtable in forum Free ThoughtsLast Post: 01-10-03, 11:30 AMReplies: 5
By goofyfish in forum World EventsLast Post: 10-01-02, 11:22 AMReplies: 3
By Malaclypse in forum Pseudoscience ArchiveLast Post: 06-19-01, 12:07 PMReplies: 1