The Judge Rotenberg Center, a school for children with disabilities located in Massachusetts, will continue to use electric shock treatment in their school. The FDA took away its ban of this treatment within the school after parents and school administration challenged it. While this sounds horrific and inhumane, the Judge Rotenberg Center actually utilizes electric shock treatment to stop self-harming or aggressive behavior in their students.
The FDA now does not have authority over the case because the DC Circuit court of appeals decided that this act is considered to be a form of medical treatment.
The school has since released a statement on its view of electrical shock treatment. The Judge Rotenberg Center says:
With the treatment, these residents can continue to participate in enriching experiences, enjoy visits with their families and, most importantly, live in safety and freedom from self-injurious and aggressive behaviors.
The Judge Rotenberg Center is the only school that utilized electric shock treatment, an act that the United Nations views as ‘torture.’
The parents of the students at this school also released a statement speaking on their challenge to the ban:
We have and will continue to fight to keep our loved ones safe and alive and to retain access to this live-saving treatment of last resort.
Below is a video from 2002 that CBS Evening News displayed of an instance of electrical shock treatment occurring in the school.
Max Stern, an attorney for the parents of the students at the Center, spoke to Massachusetts News and gave a specific example that electrical shock treatment would be used for:
One client of ours is a woman who hit her head against the wall so many times that her retinas were detached. It was not until she went to multiple various other institutions, not until she got to JRC and got this treatment that she was able to get this behavior under control so she could have surgery to make it possible for her to see again.
There have also been claims that the electric shock treatment has been used for far less extreme cases, such as a patient who is only nagging or swearing. What are your thoughts on this? Does the treatment seem immoral or is it beneficial to the student and their family? If you found this article interesting check out this one on controversial vegan activist Tash Peterson pouring fake blood over KFC floor in protest.