11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:5.0 out of 5 stars
Daring to take the Business of Electroshock by the Prods.,
February 14, 2009
Linda Andre had been blessed. With an I. Q. measured at 156, a powerful work ethic, a drive to succeed, a musician's ear and artist's eye, she sailed through her academic career to the heights of scholarship and was beginning a brilliant career as a writer and photographer when, at 25, the assault happened, like a horrific mugging and beating. Permanently brain damaged by the assault, her I. Q. had been chopped down to 118. Gone also was her gift for photography. Perhaps worse of all was the complete erasure of five years of her memory, one-fifth of her lifetime, including all her prestigious academic training, as if she'd never lived those lost years.
Any other mugging would have thrown the perpetrators into jail for years and cost them millions in civil penalties. But this was a legal mugging. And the perpetrators even made $20,000 for destroying much of Ms. Andre's life. They were, after all, licensed doctors of medicine and, instead of using a baseball bat on her head (which would have been kinder), they sent up to 200 volts of electricity into her brain with their electro convulsive "therapy" machine.
Why would doctors, of all people, inflict such physical and emotional harm to another? Ms. Andre, having no memory of the events leading up to her assault, can only go by what other people have told her and the existing documentation. So she spends most of her affecting and exhaustively researched book looking for the answer then joining and later becoming a leading voice in the struggle against ECT machines and other instruments of this medical holocaust which claims thousands of victims each year, robbing them of their day-to-day abilities to function and up to decades of memory.
Here Ms. Andre documents the countless efforts to ask the questions and tell the mental patient's stories through various media only to learn that even the most trusted outlets have their own visions of what the answers are, regardless of the facts put in front of them. Few readers of this book will be able to sit complacently in front of their TVs afterwards, just as none of us should ever sheepishly allow any "expert" with certain conflicts of interest to lead us to ruin.
It is also a pleasure to read the facts behind ECT rather than the gushing accolades of Carrie Fisher (who receives regular shocks and has lost, so far, 4 months of her life-memories) and of Kitty Dukakas (who, along with lost memories, must constantly write notes to herself before her damaged short-term memory loses the information).
My deepest hope is that medical school students will read Ms. Andre's book, take it to heart and dare to ask those questions.
Even if you buy into the standard Bureaucrat Approved "The Program Is Sound, It's Just Underfunded" Crap, ......
The Official Govt Line is NOT about instituting the Drastic Reforms one might expect in light of these horrors. The Govt Line, ....... is SPENDING MORE OF YOUR MONEY, To Provide MORE OF THE SAME!
If you Further Fund 'Mental Health', you Will get More, of this exact, Same, 'Mental Health'.
And again, this book review is from Jim Gottstein's psychrights.org
Visit him, and click on Lucy to find out how You can donate to help, before one of yours gets 'Mental Healthed'.