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Ask Sen. Al Franken: Stop Elizabeth Ellis Forced Electroshock

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Elizabeth Ellis, 67, a retired Minnesota teacher, has already had 13 involuntary court-ordered electroshocks this winter, including one on an outpatient basis. For saying "no," she was locked up again. More forced shocks are planned. URGENT ACTION: Call Elizabeth's elected officials, starting with Sen. Al Franken.

Ask Sen. Al Franken: Stop Elizabeth Ellis Forced Electroshock

Elizabeth K. Ellis, 67, of Moorhead, Minnesota: Forced outpatient electroshock survivor.

 

Alert4 - 4 March 2011

Psychiatrist Recommends Elizabeth Ellis Have "Months" of "Maintenance" Forced Electroshock

MindFreedom Asks Everyone: Phone Sen. Al Franken and Other Officials

D.C. office: (202) 224-5641 St. Paul office: (651) 221-1016 

 

Elizabeth Ellis, 67, of Moorhead, Minnesota is locked in a psychiatric institution, awaiting more involuntary electroshocks. She knows what these are like.

Elizabeth experienced a dozen court-ordered involuntary electroshocks while in a psychiatric institution earlier this winter. On 5 January 2011 she was discharged to her home, to live with her husband Robert. 

But the court ordered her to continue ongoing involuntary ongoing electroshocks on an outpatient basis. Electroshock is also known as involuntary electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

On 12 January Elizabeth reported to the nearby clinic for her involuntary outpatient shock. After this she joined MindFreedom and asked for a campaign contacting officials to stop her forced electroshock.

On 27 January, Elizabeth and her husband took a stand. They stayed home instead of reporting for the procedure. 

As she feared, the price of Elizabeth's "sit in," in her own home, was a return to a locked psychiatric ward on 18 February. Court documents reveal a psychiatrist has recommended "several months" of involuntary "maintenance" electroshock.

 

Urgent Action to Stop Elizabeth's Forced Electroshock: 

Contact Elected Officials, Starting with Sen. Al Franken

 

 

From her locked ward, Elizabeth told MindFreedom she is very grateful for people speaking out. She asks us all to continue contacting officials. 

Staff at the D.C. and St. Paul offices of US Sen. Al Franken have expressed concern, and say Senator Franken is aware of Elizabeth's plight. 

Please call and e-mail civil, strong messages to Sen. Franken's offices, and other officials.

 

Sample message, though your own words are best:

 

"Please stop further involuntary electroshocks of Elizabeth Ellis of Moorhead, Minnesota, as reported by MindFreedom. If you can't speak publicly about Elizabeth's case, then express your concern about the policy of taxpayer-funded involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject. Are you concerned?"

 

Ask Senator Al Franken to Support His Constituent, Elizabeth EllisContact US Sen. Al Franken

 

Additional actions: 

 
To contact other elected officials and Minnesota Human Services Administrator, and postal mail a card to Elizabeth, click here:
 


For the latest news and background info, check the "Elizabeth Campaign Gateway" here:


http://www.mindfreedom.org/elizabeth 

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We Are All Elizabeth! Story of a Shock Resister.


Elizabeth is a retired teacher and school counselor, with a master's degree in counseling, who admits to having had serious mental and emotional problems over the years.

The day her dear 69-year-old sister died of cancer this past September, Elizabeth's daughter Sue Opp locked up Elizabeth straight from her sister's death bed to a psychiatric facility. Ms. Opp, who works in the mental health field, told MindFreedom she felt her mother's grief reaction was too unusual. Elizabeth reportedly was not a danger to self or others, but supposedly looked too strange, such as keeping her mouth open and eyes closed.

While in the institution, Elizabeth admits she did lose weight and refuse some meals, but says it was not a dangerous amount. She was discharged on 5 January 2011, with the "provision" that she receive involuntary outpatient electroshock. On 27 January 2011, she refused.

By coincidence, the very next day after that "sit in" at her own home, a Food & Drug Administration panel voted on 28 January 2011 that the ECT device is "hazardous," and should for the first time in its more than 70 years of use in the USA be tested for safety and efficacy by the FDA.

So Elizabeth was right!

Because of the FDA panel, the US and all State governments should at least immediately freeze all funding for involuntary electroshock over the subjects' expressed wishes, a practice most American taxpayers don't know even they have been funding.

Instead, the court document Elizabeth received on 16 February stated that on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2011, Elizabeth's outpatient electroshock doctor - psychiatrist Nadeem Haider with a "shock shop" in nearby Fargo, North Dakota - told Elizabeth's case manager, Kirsten Wegenast, that "she be hospitalized, and that she remain in the hospital for several months and establish a consistent maintenance ECT schedule."

Elizabeth personally faxed these documents to MindFreedom because she knew she was at risk of more forced shock. They are available for download via the Elizabeth Campaign Gateway: http://www.mindfreedom.org/elizabeth 

Perhaps because of the growing controversy, Dr. Haider also asked Ms. Wegenast - according to her report - that after Elizabeth's discharge, a clinic other than his own, preferably based in Minnesota, be found to do future outpatient electroshocks.

 

Photo of Robert and Elizabeth Ellis, who say "no" to her forced outpatient electroshock

In the Elizabeth Campaign Gateway  you can find:

  • A folder of court and agency documents you can download about Elizabeth's forced electroshock, including the court order to transport her to a psychiatric institution for saying "no" to forced electroshock.
  • An interview with Elizabeth on 12 Feb. on MindFreedom Free Web Radio.
  • How to join a Facebook Cause for Elizabeth. 
  • Learn how the day after Elizabeth and her husband Robert (pictured together above) refused to go to her outpatient electroshock... an FDA panel voted that the device is "hazardous," and should finally be tested for safety and efficacy for the first time in 70 years!
  • A blog entry by MindFreedom director David Oaks calls for the global mental health advocacy community to create a peaceful revolution like that in Egypt. 
  • For the latest info, check frequently at the Elizabeth Ellis Campaign Gateway
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Amy Smith, psychiatric survivor, organizer and artist

From her home in Colorado, Amy Smith provides leadership for the movement to change the mental health system in a variety of ways, from events to art work for the Occupy American Psychiatric Association peaceful protests by MindFreedom International. Amy is a psychiatric survivor, who has been psych drug-free since 2008. She is the former director of Colorado’s statewide consumer organization, and the creator of RISE University, an education program designed to illuminate the experience of labeled individuals and their families.
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