Wednesday 21 August 2019

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Cork Independent


Protest against ECT to be held

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019 4:52pm

A call for a total ban on the psychiatric practice of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) will be made at a public protest in Cork this Saturday.

The demonstration is organised by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based psychiatric survivor group opposed to ECT and forced medical practices.

ECT involves passing an electric current through the brain, sufficient to deliberately induce a grand-mal seizure. The patient is anaesthetised during the procedure.

MindFreedom Ireland say the practice is traumatic, inhumane and outdated. They say it can cause brain damage, confusion and permanent memory loss, leaving people feeling somehow incomplete.

There are 66 centres in Ireland that are approved to use ECT, of which 43 do not use it. Two European countries, Slovenia and Luxembourg, exercise a total ban.

Figures from the Mental Health Commission show that 263 people received ECT treatment in 2016. 79 per cent of them received one programme, 16 per cent received two programmes and five per cent received five or more programmes.

Following the implementation of the 2015 Mental Health Act, ECT can only be administered to a patient without consent where it has been determined that the patient is unable to give consent to the treatment, with the approval of two psychiatrists.

The Cork protest is being held in conjunction with similar protests around the world and takes place on Saturday 11 May at 2pm outside Bishop Lucey Park, Grand Parade.

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