Friday, July 29, 2011

Families Testify on Shock Therapy

As the Massachusettes legislature considers four bills to curtail the use of shock therapy on the developmentally disabled, individuals and their families are stepping forward with their own diverse testimonies on the controversial method.

BOSTON -- It has become a wrenching but familiar sight for members of the Legislature: Brandon Sanchez - restrained by his uncle, Representative Jeffrey Sanchez - writhing as he attempts to kick, claw, and slap at his own face, the self-injurious consequence of a debilitating mental disorder.

In some ways, Brandon has become the poster child for the Judge Rotenberg Center, a Canton special needs institution that backers say is the only one in the country to apply skin shock therapy to the severely disabled, a method labeled by some lawmakers as barbaric and torture but supported by families of patients who say it is their last resort.

1 comment:

  1. Mother Jones reported that this school depends too much on shocking their students in order to maintain control. They shock them when they get out of their seats without permission and they shock them for cursing. See

    See my blog, Reward and Consent, on the ethics of behavior modification. (I am also disabled.)

    Dave in New Jersey