National Coalition of Mental Health Consumers - January 8: Last day to submit comments to the FDA on ECT!!

Oppose FDA Declaration of Electroshock Safety
Deadline is THIS FRIDAY, January 8, 2010

The FDA Wants to Declare Electroshock Machines
Safe Without a Safety Investigation. 

The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of regulating medical devices just as it does drugs, including the machines used to give Electroshock. But it's not doing its job. It has allowed these machines to be used on millions of patients over the past generation without requiring any evidence whatsoever that shock treatment is safe or effective. This is so even though shock machines are Class III -- high risk -- devices, which by law are required to be subjected to thorough clinical trials as thoroughly as new drugs and devices just coming onto the market. But because of intense lobbying by the American Psychiatric Association -- which claims the devices are safe but opposes an investigation -- the FDA has disregarded its own law. (For the full story of how shock survivors and other advocates have fought for a scientific safety investigation of Electroshock for the past 25 years, see Linda Andre's new book, Doctors of Deception: What They Don't Want You to Know About Shock Treatment.)

In April 2009 -- 30 years after it first ruled the devices high-risk and named brain damage and memory loss as risks of the treatment -- the FDA belatedly announced it would call on the manufacturers of the devices to provide evidence of safety and efficacy. The deadline for submissions has passed, but the manufacturers have not conducted any clinical trials, claiming they cannot afford them. They simply point to the opinions of shock doctors (including those who have financial interests in companies making Electroshock machines) as evidence that shock is safe.

 [To submit your electronic comment to the FDA, click here.]

For more information and sample letters, please visit our website: