MINDFREEDOM IRELAND PRESS RELEASE.
May 3rd, 2022.
Having had to cancel our annual public protest against the practice of electroshock for the past two years, we are glad to announce its resumption next Saturday at The Peace Park, Grand Parade, Cork starting at 2 pm.
Electroshock involves passing an electric current through the brain sufficient to deliberately induce a grand-mal seizure.
Despite the use of a general anaesthetic and muscle relaxants, opponents say it is traumatic, inhuman and outdated, causing brain damage, confusion and permanent memory loss, leaving them feeling somehow incomplete. Any claimed improvement they say is only temporary and usually requires even further regular maintenance shocks. They also say it is given to twice as many women as men, many of them elderly and is frequently given without fully informed consent.
While some psychiatrists defend its use as a last resort, others refuse to ever use it at all. Two European countries, Luxembourg and Slovenia, exercise a total ban.
The most recent figures from The Mental Health Commission show that 239 people were electroshocked in Ireland in 2020. Seventy per cent received one programme (which can be anything up to 12 individual shock treatments), 22% two programmes and 8% three or more programmes.
The Mental Health Act 2001 still allows it to be administered on the say-so of two psychiatrists and an Advanced Directive by a person saying they do not want it can be legally overturned.
The 2020 figures show that 19% were given without consent.
Generally, ages ranged from 25 to 83 and, as is the case every year, twice as many women than men were recipients.
There were 14 approved centres in Ireland in 2020 with St Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin administering the highest number of programmes at 159.
MindFreedom Ireland is a Cork-based psychiatric survivor group which campaigns for human rights and is opposed to any forced practices be they electroshock or forced drugging.
Jim Maddock, 086 0624445.