Inoltre, Massachusetts has already “taken a very active role” in regulating the privately owned center’s use of ESDs, the court wrote.
In un 2018 rapporto by the state’s Department of Developmental Services
, regulators said the center met most state requirements
, while recommending extra steps to be taken in the area of human rights
Nel 2010, the Department of Justice said it was investigating JRC
per “use of aversive restraints and electro-shocks.
CNN has reached out to the DOJ on the status of the investigation.
“We are grateful for the careful deliberation and the decision reached by the court and these judges. We have and will continue to fight to keep our loved ones safe and alive and to retain access to this life saving treatment of last resort,” JRC’s Parents Association said in a statement.
Beyond the medical debate on of the use of ESDs to treat self-injurious behavior, Mike Flammia, the attorney representing JRC and students’ parents in the case, told CNN that the court’s decision supports the relationship between a patient and their doctor.
It is important “because it protects what all of us cherish, and that is the ability to go to our doctor and have our doctor decide what is the best treatment,” Egli ha detto.
The FDA did not return CNN’s requests for comment.
Only one school uses the treatment
The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center is the only facility in the country that still uses electric shock therapy in such a way, according to the decision, going so far as to manufacture its own devices which are subject to federal and state regulation. The school says it treats about 20% of its approximately 300 students with its device, termed a “graduated electronic decelerator” (GED), as a last resort treatment.
“These clients will bang their head until they suffer a stroke, or blindness from dislodging a retina. They will break their own bones, they will violently attack others. They had no life until they came to JRC,” Flammia said. “All the other many hospitals and programs that tried to treat them before coming to JRC with the traditional treatments were unsuccessful, and they were living a life of constant mechanical and chemical restraint and isolation.”
Flammia, who said he has experienced the shock therapy himself, explained that JRC has an agreement with the state to seek court approval before a GED is used.
That process allows for a patient to have their own court-appointed lawyer and requires multiple health practitioners to confirm no other treatments were effective, among other safeguards, according to Flammia and the ruling.
“It’s just a rubber stamp
,” Nancy Weiss
, Director of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware
, ha detto alla CNN. Since the early 1990s
, Weiss has been an outspoken critic of JRC
, equating the shock therapy to
“Every state has people that they support who have severe behavioral issues. And every state has non-profit, or some for-profit, agencies that serve those people humanely and effectively,” lei disse, adding that she believes there isn’t enough oversight for when each time a shock is used.
According to Flammia, only a licensed psychologist or licensed behavior analyst overseeing a student’s education plan can administer a shock.
“I know that the people that oppose this treatment, they’ll tell you over and over again [quella] there are other treatments that work as well if not better. And they’ll talk about positive behavior supports, which JRC does all of that,” the attorney continued. “They’ll talk about drugs –psychotropic medications. These clients at JRC, they’ve tried all that. Numerous drugs, numerous diagnoses, numerous combinations of drugs.”
“It doesn’t work for these clients,” Egli ha detto.
Alternatives to electric shock therapy are a better approach, Dice la FDA
When the FDA announced the ban in
2020, l'agenzia citato several concerns with using electric shock devices as a treatment for aggressive behavior or self-injury
“Evidence indicates a number of significant psychological and physical risks are associated with the use of these devices, including worsening of underlying symptoms, depressione, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, burns and tissue damage,” ha detto la FDA. “Inoltre, many people who are exposed to these devices have intellectual or developmental disabilities that make it difficult to communicate their pain.”
“The FDA believes that state-of-the-art behavioral treatments, such as positive behavioral support, and medications can enable health care providers to find alternative approaches for curbing self-injurious or aggressive behaviors in their patients.”
Because JRC uses such positive behavioral support in tandem with the shock therapy, the use of the GED renders alternatives ineffective, Dice Weiss.
“Part of the reason that people with disabilities have behavioral problems, behaviors that we find challenging, is that they’re protesting the crappy lives that we offer them,” lei disse. “It’s that person’s only form of protest and it’s a critique of the life that they’re being offered.”
“It’s like there’s no greater human impulse than to be in charge of your own life. And what JRC does, to an extent beyond what any other provider in the country does, is strip people of choice and control.”