Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mass. Governor Moves to Stop Shock Therapy on Developmentally Disabled

BOSTON -- Lawmakers may have scrapped a plan to heavily restrict the use of skin shock therapy in Massachusetts for severely disabled residents, but the Patrick administration is moving ahead with a proposal that would eliminate the practice for all future patients and require annual reviews for patients already receiving the controversial treatment.

In new regulations proposed by the Department of Developmental Services, treatments that cause physical pain – such as “spanking, slapping, hitting or contingent skin shock,” also known as aversive therapy – would no longer be a permissible treatment option for residents with developmental disabilities.

Only those with court-ordered treatment plans in effect by Sept. 1, 2011 that include aversive therapy would be able to continue receiving it.

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