VICTORY: Forced Electroshock of Glen K. in a New York Psychiatric Institution Halted!
Within 48 hours of the launch of a MindFreedom Alert Campaign, the Attorney General for New York announced that Glen K. will receive no more forced electroshock under his court order. Rockland Psychiatric Center was giving involuntary electroshock over and against Glen's expressed wishes. Despite his psychiatrist's pessimistic predictions, Glen K. did well without the forced electroshock and has been discharged to a community facility. You can read the updates and then the original alert here. [Update 4]
The campaign in April 2012 focused on this question: Does New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo know that his state psychiatric institution is administering involuntary electroshock (ECT) over the expressed wishes of the citizen?!
Update 19 November 2012:
Read the victory message from Glen K.'s attorney, approved by Glen K.! Glen K. has been discharged from the institution where he was electroshocked, and he is living outside in the community. That walk elegantly disproves his psychiatrist's dire and absurd predictions more than six months ago that Glen K. could not function without ongoing traumatizing involuntary electroshock.
Update 18 April 2012:
Glen has been told. He is thrilled.
He won! Thank you to everyone who spoke out for Glen!
Less than 48 hours after an emergency MindFreedom alert went out to contact Governor Cuomo (photo on right), the machinery that was delivering forced shocks to Glen as recently as Friday, has ground to a stop.
Glen's attorneys got a call from the NY Attorney General earlier today. Under the guise that Glen is doing so well, the Attorney General will no longer defend the court order to give Glen electroshock, and they are withdrawing that order.
Glen won't be forcibly shocked any more under this order.
Given this attorney general decision, Glen may be creating an advanced directive to help protect him in the future.
Today, MindFreedom contacted Mental Hygiene Legal Services, which has defended Glen and a number of other New York psychiatric survivors against forced shock. We spoke with Glen's attorneys Dennis Feld and Arthur Baer, who made this public statement:
"We feel that our client has been vindicated, and what we thought was one of the most onerous orders for forced treatments we ever saw has now been nullified."
And there's no need to go to Brooklyn for Glen's court hearing tomorrow, 19 April, because he won!
MFI director David Oaks said, "Thank you everyone for your quick response on this campaign... Keep contacting Governor Cuomo and ask him to issue a moratorium on all involuntary electroshock in New York."
Updates from 17 April 2012:
- The first 24 hours of Glen's campaign already had an impact. MFI received a call from John Allen, director of Consumer Affairs for NY State Office of Mental Health, who claimed: "While we can't comment on this individual case, we have suspended and are reviewing policy and procedure that would lead to these kinds of circumstances in the future." While this is positive news, MFI will wait until Glen or his representative declare victory.
Update 16 April 2012:
Glen K. has reasonable objections to on his forced electroshock, and states: "ECT causes profound memory loss, it causes universal brain damage , and it is a harsh, harsh treatment..."
THANK YOU EVERYONE! CONGRATULATIONS GLEN!
"No one is tired on victory day!" - ancient Persian expression
BELOW is Original MindFreedom Alert that Apparently Helped Glen Win His Campaign to Say "No!" to Forced Electroshock
MFI News Exclusive
April 16, 2012
Your Tax Dollars At Work:
Does Governor Cuomo Know His NY State Institution is Forcibly Electroshocking Glen K.?
by MindFreedom International
It's in the public record:
Glen K. is being forcibly subjected twice a week to electroconsulvive therapy (ECT), also known as shock treatment, in a New York state mental health institution - Rockland Psychiatric Center photo on right - where he is being held involuntarily. These shocks are administered to Glen K. over his clear and consistent protest, under the authority of a court order which authorizes a series of 120 shock treatments over a period of 12 months.
This order also authorizes the hospital to chemically restrain Glen K. with involuntary psychiatric drugs, when he refuses medical procedures in preparation for ECT. On many occasions, the hospital has also employed physical and chemical restraints to overcome his resistance to ECT.
Ironically, this MindFreedom exclusive investigation is being distributed on "tax day." Because the crusade to continue to forcibly electroshock Glen K. is all paid for by your precious federal and state taxpayer dollars.
Glen K. Argues for His Right to Say "No" to Shock
At a court hearing, Glen K., who is in his 40's, provided what an observer called an "eloquent expression" of why he was adamantly opposed to ECT. After all, Glen is an expert on electroshock, having received close to 100 shocks before.
During this same court hearing, a court-appointed independent psychiatrist testified against subjecting Glen K. to continuing forced shock. The judge ignored this expert witness. In the end, the hospital prevailed and the judge issued the court order for involuntary electroshock.
This court order is being appealed and the shocks were temporary halted by an order of the appellate court. However, that order to halt was vacated. That means the forced shocks of Glen K. are being allowed to continue and will continue to the full extent under the hearing court's order, unless Glen K. wins the appeal.
Oral argument on this appeal will be heard this coming Thursday, 18 April 2012, before a panel of four judges of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department which sits in Brooklyn, New York.
Glen K. and the Court of Public Opinion
Glen K. is being represented by the Mental Hygiene Legal Service (MHLS). MHLS will likely emphasize that Glen K.'s objection to further shock treatment was and is a fully informed one, and that he does not lack the requisite ability to make a reasoned treatment decision -- and thus should be free to decide what treatment he can be subjected to -- just because he disagrees with the hospital's recommendation.
Further, the appellate court will be asked to accept that Glen K.'s complaint that the shock treatment is brain damaging is not a psychotic delusion but a complaint which echoes much recent scientific research and findings and one which cogently describes the ultimate effect of receiving hundreds of shock treatments.
According to a legal expert, it is likely that if the appeal is defeated the hospital will apply for another order for 120 shocks once the challenged order expires, a practice the hospital has followed with other patients under its custody. Glen K. hopes the appellate court will understand that his expressed wish for an alternative treatment does not reflect an impairment in his judgment or thinking, but a sincere request for humane care and treatment.
The appellate court will likely issue its decision four to six weeks after the argument is heard.
No matter what the appellate court rules, it's time for the court of public opinion to speak out about how their taxpayers dollars are being wasted in a crusade to force electroshock over the expressed wishes of some of the most powerless citizens in the USA.
Does Governor of New York Andrew M. Cuomo know about his state's administering forced electroshock over a citizen's clear objections?
Ask him yourself!
Please keep your question civil but strong:
Email via this handy web contact form:
Or phone: (518) 474-8390
Please forward this news to appropriate sources on the Internet. The short link to this page is:
Do you live in New York State?
MindFreedom New York State has a discussion list on this and other topics that current MFI members may join here:
ISSUED BY MindFreedom International Initiative on Electroshock and Human Rights
More Info Links
Some past successful MFI campaigns to stop involuntary electroshock:
- Elizabeth Ellis http://www.mindfreedom.org/elizabeth
- Ray Sandford http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray
- Paul Henri Thomas in NY State http://www.narpa.org/ect.stay.htm
- John Kelly in NY State's Rockland Psychiatric Center: http://www.mindfreedom.org/as/act-archives/us/new-york/john-kelly-electroshock
At MFI's request, World Health Organization issued a written position in 2005 against all forced electroshock:
One of the few organizations in the USA to support involuntary electroshock is the American Psychiatric Association. For info about speaking up with MFI directly in front of the APA Annual Meeting see:
For info about electroshock on MFI web site see:
Interested in helping this MFI campaign for Glen K.?
MindFreedom International Initiative on Electroshock & Human Rights has an email discussion list for MindFreedom International current members called ZAP BACK, here:
To join and support MFI, click here:
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