HomePress ReleaseEIN PresswireNew Report from WHO and UN Warns of Electroconvulsive Therapy Risks

New Report from WHO and UN Warns of Electroconvulsive Therapy Risks

Wisner Baum

Lawyer in Landmark Case In opposition to ECT Gadget Producer Welcomes Warning of Mind Harm

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2023 / — The World Well being Group and the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights issued joint steerage this week of the dangers that electroconvulsive remedy (ECT) poses to sufferers, together with reminiscence loss and mind injury. Wisner Baum senior associate Bijan Esfandiari was the lead lawyer in Jeffrey Thelen v. Somatics, LLC (case quantity 8:20-cv-01724), a federal lawsuit that to our information was the primary case involving extreme private harm allegations towards an ECT system producer to proceed to trial. Esfandiari launched the next assertion:

“The newest steerage from the World Well being Group and United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights acknowledges what we’ve argued in our ECT litigation for years—ECT ‘therapy’ is extremely controversial and can have devastating penalties, together with everlasting reminiscence loss and mind injury. The steerage additionally exhibits that psychiatrists who administer ECT are more and more alone of their acceptance of and advocacy for ECT.

“We hope this steerage serves to boost consciousness about ECT’s dangers and ‘conjures up’ ECT producers, in addition to hospitals and psychiatrists who administer ECT, to be absolutely forthcoming to these weak sufferers who come to them looking for assist, solely to be betrayed and stripped of what we maintain most treasured, our reminiscences and psychological acuity. We additionally encourage legislators and the FDA to take heed within the steerage’s admonitions and take motion. We’ve seen firsthand the hurt ECT could cause and we hope this steerage indicators that the times of being laissez-faire about ECT’s dangers and unproven efficacy is coming to an finish, as soon as and for all.”

The joint steerage from the WHO and the UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights famous the “important controversy” surrounding ECT. “If permitted, ECT should solely be administered with the written or documented, free and knowledgeable consent of the individual involved,” the publication said. It additionally mentioned that people who find themselves supplied ECT ought to be “made conscious of all its dangers and potential short- and long-term dangerous results, comparable to reminiscence loss and mind injury.” The publication was titled, “Psychological well being, human rights and laws: steerage and observe,” and was meant to tell lawmakers on vital points in psychological well being therapy. Amongst its suggestions had been that lawmakers prohibit the use of ECT on kids.

The joint steerage got here 4 months after a federal jury in Tampa, Florida, discovered Illinois-based producer Somatics positioned its ECT system in the marketplace with out enough directions or warnings to the physicians who prescribed ECT to the plaintiff, Jeffrey Thelen. Testimony and proof from the seven-day trial provides disturbing revelations concerning the ECT trade. Dr. Richard Abrams, co-owner of Somatics, admitted throughout questioning that practitioners of ECT don’t perceive the way it works and that the medical rule of thumb to manage ECT for not less than 30 seconds was not based mostly on any scientific literature. As an alternative, practitioners had “plucked it out of the air” after they adopted the 30-second customary, Abrams testified.

Los Angeles-based Wisner Baum is representing different plaintiffs in lawsuits alleging hurt from the decades-old psychiatric therapy ECT. The agency has developed an online web page that particulars the medical research exhibiting an inextricable hyperlink between ECT and mind injury and describing how the gadgets had been “grandfathered in” earlier than a legislation that will have required approval by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration.


Wisner Baum represents over 18,000 plaintiffs in a broad vary of civil litigation and has received greater than $4 billion throughout all observe areas, together with pharmaceutical product legal responsibility, class motion litigation, mass torts, navy aviation accidents, industrial transportation instances, and extra. The agency has earned a status for breaking new authorized floor, holding main companies accountable, influencing public coverage, and elevating public consciousness about vital questions of safety. Be taught extra at

Alex Dobuzinskis
Newsroom PR
+1 213-507-0603


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