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Protest against electroshock organised in cork city

Wednesday, 20th May, 2015 6:20pm

MindFreedom Ireland organised a protest against the practise of electroshock in Cork city on Saturday 16 May.

Protestors gathered outside Bishop Lucey Park, and called to completely abolish the procedure. The protest in Cork was part of an international campaign, where 30 cities simultaneously had their voices heard on the issue.

Testimonials were publicly given by a number of people given the procedure, all of whom spoke of trauma, brain damage, and memory loss they experienced as a result. Latest figures released from the Mental Health Commission showed that 244 people were given electroshock in Ireland in 2012. Twice as many women as men were recipients of the procedure.

Electroshock involves shocking the brain with an electric current in order to deliberately induce a seizure or grand mal convolusion.

Proponents of the treatment say that it is essential for people who don't respond to other methods, while opponents   say that it is outdated and dehumanising. Those against it call for its complete removal and that alternative methods should be made available.

The Report of the Export Group, which was set up to review the 2001 Mental Health Act, opted to retain the practise, but recommended it should not be forced on people against their will.

The report agreed with proposed legislation under the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill that will enable the procedure be administered as 'a life-saving treatment, or where the patient's condition is otherwise treatment resistant'.

MindFreedom Ireland is a human rights survivor activist group, and is opposed to forced treatments. This was their seventh such event since their inaugural protest in 2007.

For more information, contact 021-4894303.

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