Author Topic: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released  (Read 4771 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2012, 08:06:02 PM »
http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/und ... s-20120411

Shocks given at Rotenberg Center were “harming” autistic teen, expert testifies

Updated: Thursday, 12 Apr 2012, 12:00 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012, 7:35 PM EDT

Mike Beaudet

www.twitter.com/channel_mike

Kevin Rothstein, Producer


BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Being restrained and shocked for nearly seven hours at the Judge Rotenberg Center permanently damaged autistic teenager Andre McCollins, a psychiatrist testified in another dramatic day in court on Wednesday featuring more video of his treatment.
“Now we have an individual who's heavily medicated, state institutionalized with no immediate prospect of any kind of independent functioning. And all of that turned on October 25, 2002 when his psychotic disorder was traumatized by the 31 or so shocks he got on that day,” Dr. Marc Whaley said, testifying on McCollins’ behalf.
Video from the ordeal, recorded by the school’s camera and played for the jury in McCollins’ civil trial in Norfolk Superior Court, is prompting calls for action from state Senate President Therese Murray and now a top state official is calling for action.
She released a statement tonight saying in part, “This is the only facility in the nation that can practice shock therapy and this video is beyond disturbing. These therapies are inhumane and should not be allowed. The Senate has repeatedly passed legislation to stop this practice and it's time for the entire Legislature to take action."
McCollins’ troubles started on a bus ride to school, where McCollins was shocked and put into restraints for assaulting someone. He was shocked again inside a classroom after he refused to take off his jacket, tied to a restraint board and shocked.
The jury watched as McCollins was begging for help and the shocks to stop, all while he was restrained face-down with a helmet on his head.
“There was ample evidence to show this treatment was harming that individual at that time and certainly not helping him,” Whaley said. “It's a gross deviation from accepted standards. They're treating him like an object. Just tying him down. Making sure that his arms and legs are fastened, but not engaging and certainly not trying to teach him anything about his behavior.”
Whaley watched portions of the video and, under questioning from McCollins’ attorney Ben Novotny, described what he saw for the jury.
“He's crying out. Pleading really to not be shocked and those pleadings are ignored,” he said.
McCollins was so psychotic, Whaley testified, that it was impossible for him to control his behavior, which is what the shocks, a type of aversive therapy, were intended to do.
“There's no reputable qualified psychologist, psychiatrist that would ever recommend aversive therapy as a treatment for acute psychotic symptoms. That was done in the 1800s,” he said.
Lawyers for the Judge Rotenberg Center and several of its doctors say that what happened to McCollins was all part of his court-approved treatment plan.
Under cross examination, Whaley admitted he had only seen about half of the approximately eight hours of videotape.
“Didn't you think if you were an independent expert coming in to try and give a fair opinion a fair opinion to these jurors, you should have looked at the entirety of that tape before you gave an opinion?” asked attorney Edward Hinchey, who represents one of the Rotenberg Center’s psychologists.
“Not in this case,” Whaley replied.
Cross-examination of Whaley continues Thursday, and Andre’s mother Cheryl McCollins is expected to resume her testimony, which began Tuesday.
The Rotenberg Center has declined to comment about the McCollins case, but a public relations firm hired by the Center released a statement tonight saying in part, “JRC educates and treats the most difficult behaviorally involved students in the country and administers the (shocks) to treat severe behavior disorders only after other treatments have failed and a court order is obtained to do so at the request of the student’s parents and doctor.”

The statement also said, “On the issue of the video tape, the sole reason a recording exists is because JRC maintains cameras in every room where a student may receive treatment. It is the only such facility to do so. This is for the protection of the students in our care and is precisely to enable us to review every application of the (shock device).”

Youtube Video: http://youtu.be/Pc1V6OG5ptw
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2012, 05:53:15 AM »
http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/und ... l-20120420


JRC expert admits shocks didn’t work, but says damage was minimal


Updated: Friday, 20 Apr 2012, 6:34 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 20 Apr 2012, 6:35 PM EDT


BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - There were tough questions in court Friday for an expert who suggested that a teenager shocked and restrained for hours was treated appropriately.

Psychiatrist Lloyd Price, testifying on behalf of the Judge Rotenberg Center, tried to portray former JRC student Andre McCollins as a violent and angry young man who needed to be restrained.

McCollins was 18 at the time and a client of JRC in 2002 when he was shocked 31 times inside a classroom, mostly while restrained face-down on a restraint board. The treatment was inappropriate and unneeded and is causing damage to this day, his lawyers contend.

Price says the short-term damage to McCollins was not nearly as bad as McCollins says and that there have been no long-term affects. Price even disagrees with the diagnosis of autism given to McCollins.

 by a JRC camera, but Price testified that the treatment was necessary.

“He did not appear to me to be scared or frightened. In fact he had some periods of calm, so the way I see this is he was angry. Part of the way he showed that was by being oppositional,” he said.

In a testy exchange with McCollins' lawyer, the psychiatrist had to admit that the shocks were not helping.
“It’s not working when he gets shocked up to 30 (times), right?” asked attorney Ben Novotny.
“Correct,” Price replied.

“How about 29. Was it working then?” Novotny said.

“Well if it's not working at 30 it's clearly not working at 29,” Price replied.

“How about 28?” Novotny asked.

“Same answer,” Price replied.

“Twenty-five. Was that five between 25 and 30, were those working for him?” Novotny asked.

“No,” Price replied.

“How about 20 to 30, were those shocks working?” Novotny asked.

“None of the shock treatments singularly or in totality appeared to be changing the behavior,” Price replied.

Also testifying today was the Judge Rotenberg Center's founder and former executive director, Dr. Matthew Israel.
Final testimony and closing arguments in the case are expected Monday in Norfolk Superior Court.

YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn2u32GN7fE
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 06:19:42 AM by wdtony »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2012, 06:19:03 AM »
http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/und ... z1sfWWJZjc

FOX Undercover: Mike Beaudet talks about the case

Updated: Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012, 8:44 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012, 8:44 AM EDT


(FOX 25/MyFoxBoston.com) - There was a client screaming out in pain at the Judge Rotenberg Center as he was tied down and shocked for hours and FOX Undercover brought you the exclusive video as it was played in court during a civil lawsuit.
Investigative reporter Mike Beaudet talks about the case.

YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/YF19CEnRjxQ
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2012, 06:21:57 AM »
All FOX Undercover Videos and articles can be found here also: http://www.myfoxboston.com/subindex/news/undercover
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2012, 09:35:12 PM »
http://canton.patch.com/articles/letter ... treatments


Letter to the Editor:

Former Teacher's Aid at Judge Rotenberg Center Comments on FOX TV Video of JRC Shock Treatments
Former Judge Rotenberg Center employee responds to Fox News video released in court last week.


April 17, 2012

Editor's note: This is a Letter to the Editor by former JRC employee Gregory Miller. Miller is commenting on the graphic Fox TV video  of JRC student Andre McCollins being shocked that was shown in court last week.

My name is Greg Miller.  I worked at the Judge Rotenberg Center as a Teacher's Assistant (with Massachusetts Teacher's Certification) for three years, starting in January of 2003, and ending in March of 2006.  I resigned and left on my own accord, then I wrote Dr. Israel a letter to inform him why I resigned.  I was interviewed for Mother Jones Magazine, for Boston Globe, and for ABC Nightline, in 2007.

I wanted to add more information regarding the 4-point board shocks and the context in which they were used.  What you do not see in this student's case on this video that I did observe with other students is the added element of psychological torture through the means of positioning the staff with the remote control outside of the door of the room with a silent timer.

Normally when a student knows he or she is about to get shocked, they instinctively tense up their muscles in anticipation of the shock as soon as a staff reaches for the remote control.

You can see Andre [McCollins] in this video tensing up his body in anticipation of the 16th or 17th shock out of 31 shocks that he received for the day.

By having the staff with the remote control and timer stand outside of the classroom door, the student would not know when the next shock was coming.  For some students, the amount of time between each shock would be varied, say a five minute wait before one shock then a 15 minute wait until the next shock, so that the student on the four-point board would literally go crazy in anticipation by not knowing when the next shock was going to take place.  When the shocks are spaced out over time at uneven intervals, and without the ability to see a staff reach for the device, students would tense up their bodies and scream, over and over, thinking that the shock was about to take place, until their muscles would get so tired that they could no longer tense up.  The student then would sadly "give up" in apathy, much like a prey who has already lost.

This added element of varying the minutes between the electric shocks in my opinion was much worse than the horrific shocks themselves.  It added a whole other dimension of helplessness and hopelessness to a student who was already tied up to the board and getting shocked.

The ability for students to tense up their muscles in anticipation of a shock gives the student at least some hope of protecting themselves from severe pain, and with that gone, and with the muscles and student voice giving out from repeated tensing up of the muscles and the screaming and crying, some students appeared to resign their will to live.

For those who have not been there in person to witness those psychiatric "treatments," it may be difficult to visualize how significant those varied timed shocks were to students, or to imagine how bad those treatments really were.  I cannot imagine any sane parents watching a video of their child receiving that kind of treatment and approving of the treatment for their child.  I do NOT believe that parents have made an "informed consent" when they have their children placed on those treatments because they have not seen what those treatments actually look like until now.

I am also certain that other parents, including those whose children are NOT placed on 4-point boards for electric shocks, are not giving an informed consent to have their children shocked at JRC.  Parents, with one exception that I saw in my entire three years at JRC, were not permitted into the classrooms.  If parents could spend time inside the classrooms, they would see students getting shocked for many mild behaviors, with no distinction made between tearing a small thread or a paper cup as different from tearing posters off the walls.  The student plan says to shock them regardless.  There was no distinction between standing up and politely raising a hand to ask to go to the bathroom versus standing up in an act of aggression.  

Worst of all was when one student had a behavior, and ALL of the students were punished in the room of up to 40 students by having to watch their classmate get shocked, which I view as being significantly penalized due to the severe trauma.  For this reason, I believe that all of the children were being punished even though they were not exhibiting any behaviors, merely for being there in the classroom minding to their own task.

I was having nightmares as a teacher, and some of the other staff who I spoke to were also having nightmares.  We were not even wearing backpacks with electric shock devices or electrodes strapped to our bodies!  The students often did not know if they had exhibited a behavior, or if it was a classmate who had exhibited a behavior.  It was not uncommon when one student had a behavior for the staff to merely reach for the remote control on his or her belt, triggering five or seven other students to all react in panic with behaviors that cause each of the children to get shocked.  One student would yell out in fear, another might jump out of his seat, another student might try to pull her electrodes off of her skin or scream, or another student might hold the arm of the staff who had the remote control.

Another student might throw down his task onto his table in a panic, and other students might just sit in their seats and scream and yell.  All of these behaviors were defined as "GED"-shock behaviors, and we were required to shock all of the students exhibiting these behaviors along with the one student who had the initial behavior.

On a number of occasions, a staff would reach for a pencil in an apron pocket triggering students in their state of high anxiety to think that the staff was reaching for the remote controls, and resulting in groups of students being shocked when they reacted.

I don't believe a parent has made an informed consent to such treatment until they have been in the classroom and have seen their child and other children react together under such great stress.  If I had nightmares as a staff from working at JRC, and I did not have electrodes tied to me, just imagine what it is like for non-verbal children who are tied to the electrodes and devices in their backpacks 24-hours per day!

One parent approved a plan for her son with autism to get shocked every time he closed his eyes for 15 seconds while at his desk, but I believe that was just one bad parent who didn't like the fact that her son had autism.  For most of the parents, I believe they were largely misinformed and desperate.

Personally, I never intentionally shocked a student tied to a 4-point restraint board, nor had I shocked a so-called "high functioning" student (which meant mostly normal cognitive and verbal abilities) in my three years at the Judge Rotenberg Center.  I worked mostly with students with autism who had severe behaviors and who I did not see tied to 4-point restraint board to be shocked multiple times.

But I was working in the room a number of times when higher functioning students were tied to the 4-point restraint boards getting shocked, which left me feeling nauseous and in nightmares for days until my doctor advised me to leave for the sake of my own health.  

If I could emphasize two messages in response to watching the video clip on Fox News of Andre McCollins, it would be to say, "Yes!  It really is that bad, and much worse!", and that Andre's mother absolutely must be genuine in saying that she did not give an informed consent for her son to be treated in that way.  Parents may sign permission for their children to be shocked, but that is very different from actually seeing the treatments and how the treatments are executed.  There is no "informed" consent until parents have seen what they are actually approving.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2012, 02:33:06 AM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2012, 09:02:21 PM »
http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/und ... t-20120423

Jury gets Rotenberg case, must decide whether shocks were treatment

Updated: Monday, 23 Apr 2012, 8:51 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 23 Apr 2012, 8:51 PM EDT

Mike Beaudet

www.twitter.com/channel_mike

Kevin Rothstein Producer [email protected]


(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Treatment or torture? That’s the question in a jury’s hands on Monday after closing arguments were made in the civil trial pitting the Judge Rotenberg Center against one of its former students.

Andre McCollins was 18-years-old when he was shocked and restrained for hours at the Canton-based Rotenberg Center in 2002, an ordeal which was captured on one of the center’s cameras.

There’s no question that McCollins was restrained face-down for nearly six hours and given some 30 shocks, but the two sides in the malpractice case dispute just about everything else.

In his closing argument, Rotenberg Center attorney David O’Connor asked jurors not to be too quick to judge that video without understanding how difficult it can be to treat clients like McCollins, who he says was violent and aggressive that day.

“Certainly that video is very unsettling, but it is people that JRC cares for on a daily basis. They don’t reject anybody. They take the toughest patients,” said O’Connor, who also represents two Rotenberg doctors. “At JRC, we don't shut our eyes to the things that make the general public uncomfortable. … what we do at JRC is deal with them our hands, we deal with them directly. Daily.”

McCollins’ mother, Cheryl McCollins, has already testified that the treatment her son got was “torture.” McCollins’ attorney, Ben Novotny, hammered home that point in his closing argument, asking the jury why, if the shock treatments are so good, no other place in the country uses them.

He recounted McCollins’ ordeal that day: “If he asks for help, he's crying out, help me and no and screaming, they shock him. If he's scared and he tenses up, they shock him,” Novotny said. “Ask yourself, is there any more vulnerable position to be in other than what Andre was in that Friday afternoon, lying there, legs spread, face down and getting shocked for screaming and getting shocked for being afraid. What did they want Andre to do? What could he have done to stop them?”

The jury began deliberations at 3:30 on Monday afternoon and has already requested a television and VCR so they can watch the video as well as a transcript of the judge’s lengthy jury instructions dealing with the law and how it should be applied.

The jurors also sent a question to the judge asking about whether the Judge Rotenberg Center itself was a defendant as opposed to the three doctors named in the lawsuit. Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara said she’d answer it for the jurors Tuesday morning.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2012, 09:33:22 PM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2012, 10:37:09 PM »
http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/und ... g-20120424

Rotenberg trial ends with settlement; former student’s mom vows to keep fighting

Updated: Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 7:23 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

Mike Beaudet

www.twitter.com/channel_mike

Kevin Rothstein Producer http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/und ... z1t12QtoQ7
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2012, 10:39:35 PM »
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2012, 04:06:03 AM »
WGBH Greater Boston  May 9, 2012

Cheryl McCollins and Gregory Miller speak with Jared Bowen about the shock torture at Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts as well as petitions signed to ban this "so called" electric shock therapy.

http://www.wgbh.org/includes/playerPop. ... 11&rssid=3

If that link doesn't work try here:

On youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxPCMXs6Hl0
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2012, 04:11:14 AM »
Petitions:

Judge Rotenberg Educational Center: Please Stop Painful Electric Shocks on Your Students

http://www.change.org/petitions/judge-r ... tton_modal

Massachusetts Representatives: Please Stop Painful Electric Shocks on Students at JRC in Massachusetts!

http://www.change.org/petitions/massach ... sachusetts
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com

Offline wdtony

  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.pfctruth.com
UN Questions JRC
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2012, 12:20:00 AM »
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/featur ... 85930.html


UN probes shock therapy at US school


A special-needs school is under fire for its treatment of students with severe behavioural problems.
Al Jazeera staff Last Modified: 17 Jul 2012 20:32


In 2002, Andre McCollins, an autistic 18-year-old, was restrained for several hours face-down, and electrically shocked 31 times in seven hours by a remote-controlled device for what a special-needs school described as an attack on a member of staff.

This American school's practice of using electric shocks to discipline students with severe behavioural problems has solicited renewed attention from the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Torture.

UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez confirmed to Al Jazeera that he has asked for access from the US government, asking them to investigate the use of "skin shock therapy" by the Judge Rotenberg Centre (JRC).

In 2010, Mendez's predecessor, Manfred Nowak, said he believed the practice constitutes torture. "I have no doubts about it," said Nowak at that time. "It is inflicted in a situation where a victim is powerless. And, I mean, a child in the restraint chair, being then subjected to electric shocks, how more powerless can you be?"


Skin shock therapy, in which students exhibiting extreme or dangerous behaviour are subjected to electric shocks from a remote-controlled device, is legal in the United States. Twelve US states currently send their children to the JRC. Parents and a probate court judge are required to approve the treatment on a case-by-case basis.

The practice has come under fire in the past few years, and the JRC faced renewed scrutiny in April, when a video of McCollins being repeatedly shocked surfaced. McCollins' mother, Cheryl, has said the incident in question occured because her son refused to take off his jacket, but JRC lawyer Michael Flammia countered her claim by saying Andre "started off that day by attacking a staff person on the bus", and that the punishment was not applied simply because he refused to remove his coat.

The JRC, founded by behavioural psychologist Matthew Israel and based in the Boston suburb of Canton, has a "zero-rejection, zero-expulsion policy", according to its website. Many of its residents have exhibited severely violent behaviour towards themselves and others: a summary statement on the JRC website says its students include people who have gouged out their own eyes, pulled out their own adult teeth, swallowed razor blades, and attempted to strangle their parents.

The JRC has 235 students, more than 30 of whom receive skin shock therapy.

"JRC is the place of last resort," said Flammia. The typical JRC student, he explained, "has come from a psychiatric hospital, or come from another programme that's expelling them because their behaviours are so dangerous that they can't keep them safe."

Students at the centre receive individually tailored treatment programmes that include both positive and negative reinforcement. Initially, new students are offered rewards for good behaviour, but if that doesn't work, aversive shock therapy is ultimately considered. The therapy delivers an electric shock to a student when he or she exhibits undesirable behaviours such as aggression or self-injury.

Skin shock therapy

Skin shock therapy, also known as aversive shock therapy, requires students to wear either a "fanny pack" or backpack containing a battery-operated device, known as a Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED), which is connected by wires to electrodes on the skin. The electrodes themselves are fastened onto the flesh with a fabric strap, which is connected to a metal lock to prevent students from removing them.


Interview with former JRC student Hilary Cook
Staff members of the JRC then use a transmitter to activate two-second-long shocks when undesirable behaviour is exhibited. One former patient, Hilary Cook, told Al Jazeera that she had to wear the GED 24 hours a day.

Of the medical sources Al Jazeera spoke to, a majority raised questions about using skin shock therapy to treat severely maladaptive behaviour.

Dr Allison Baker, a psychiatrist at Columbia Presbyterian hospital in New York City, advocated the use of reinforcement-based procedures instead.

"There's a large evidence base to suggest that behavioural intervention programmes can be successful without the need of using aversive punishment-based procedure," she told Al Jazeera. "While the notion of a punishment-based procedure will diminish the maladaptive behaviour in the heat of the moment, you're not teaching the youngster. You're not giving them replacement behaviours and you're not giving them skills they can take with them into the future."

Baker also noted that no "rigorous peer-reviewed publication for this kind of treament" had been released in nearly a decade, though the school rejects this claim.

Legislative efforts

Brian Joyce, a Massachusetts state senator, echoed Baker's emphasis on alternative therapies. "We're successfully treating such individuals through positive interventions everywhere else in the country and throughout the world," he said. "We certainly don't need to resort to this barbaric treatment in Canton, Massachusetts."

Joyce, who says the practice is "inhumane and at times barbaric", is trying to ban aversive shock therapy altogether. He believes legislation has not yet passed due, in part, to what he says are the JRC's powerful lobbyists and deep pockets - he said that, in 2007, the centre took in $56m in revenue.

In 2011, the JRC was prevented from administering the therapy to newly admitted students, although the centre is appealing this decision.

Cook, the former JRC resident, told Al Jazeera that she is "kind of amazed" that the treatment continues to be legal. She described the therapy as "clearly a case of torture".

"I don't remember what the first thing I did to get a GED was. But I do remember what the GED felt like at the time," she said. "I was expecting a bee sting and what I got was pretty extreme pain that felt like longer than a few seconds, but was only a few seconds. It did cause me to scream and it was very intense and burned for a while afterwards. It actually left marks on me that went away after a few days, but it did leave marks."

'Immediate' effect

Flammia told Al Jazeera: "Anybody who says this treatment is torture is 100 per cent wrong. It's no different than saying dental work is torture.

"If [the treatment] was taken away, they would either die or be put on drugs for the rest of their lives and they'd be comatose for the rest of their lives."


Interview with Lauren Emmick, mother of JRC student
Some parents agree with Flammia's characterisation, and are convinced that the JRC's approach has saved their children from a life of misery.

Lauren Emmick, a mother of a current resident at the JRC, argued that aversive shock therapy should not be classified as torture, and credited the treatment with allowing her daughter to live a more normal life.

Emmick said her daughter Lian had been in therapy since age three and a half, and began taking medication at age six. She said Lian's behaviour was so aggressive that she had to be taught separately from the other children at the special-needs school she previously attended. "What she experienced before was torture," said Emmick. "She had been restrained so many times, both of her knees needed to have surgery."

Emmick had considered shock therapy as a last resort, but finally agreed to it after Lian had been at the JRC for five months without responding to other treatments. The therapy not only produced an "immediate" effect on her daughter, she said, but it also continues to limit her violent outbursts. "She works in the kitchen, she's got two roommates, she's in a classroom, she's learning, she's happy. I've never seen her happy. Ever."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Pathway Family Center Truth = http://www.pfctruth.com