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No shock for Ray yesterday, 7 January 2009 - apparently next week

by David W. Oaks — last modified Jan 08, 2009 10:01 PM
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Thankfully, Ray did not have forced shock yesterday, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 as he had thought. Because of a slighly complicated new schedule, he is apparently scheduled for forced shock next Wednesday, 14 January 2009.



For weeks Ray Sandford had forced electroshock every single Wednesday, as steady as clock work.


After more than 30, and after the campaign for "No More Shocks for Ray" that frequency changed. Ray's psychiatrist said he would try giving shock every other week.

During Ray's new hearing on 16 December this was actually used against Ray. According to eye witnesses, there was testimony that Ray was more upset this Fall, and the witnesses -- who opposed Ray's demand to end shock -- blamed the move to less frequent shock, and the activist campaign itself!

After Ray's mother -- a retired psychiatric nurse -- met with Ray's psychiatrist and described his severe memory problems, Ray's psychiatrist agreed to slightly lower his frequency of shock.

According to Ray and his mother, Ray's schedule is now every other week, followed by every third week, and then back to every other week.

Ray thought this meant he would get shock yesterday, and he was afraid.

But today, Thursday, 8 January 2009, Ray told me he had no electroshock yesterday, thankfully. He believes his next scheduled shock is next week, 14 January 2009.

Meanwhile on another front, there's a question about interference with legal information to Ray. Two letters from MindFreedom International were sent to Ray about the potential for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to represent Ray. Ray simply would need to sign, date, and mail one of those letters to the ACLU Minnesota branch's director Chuck Samuelson to be considered for assistance.

However, so far, Ray has not received this mail. According to tracing by the US Postal Service, one of the letters arrived at Victory House on 31 December 2008.

Of course, tampering or interfering with US postal mail to an individual -- even one under commitment and guardianship -- is a serious matter, especialy when the contents involves reasonable legal information about defending the individual's human rights.

Stay tuned.


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Al Galves, Phd

Al Galves of New Mexico is an author, retired psychologist and long-time activist for human rights and humane alternatives in the mental health system. He is on the Board of Directors of MindFreedom International, and now director of an MFI Sponsor Group, International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology (ISEPP).
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