The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA has been making headlines lately because of some quite shocking things. While most people consider electroshock therapy to be quite barbaric and inhumane, they are using it to ‘help’ special needs students.
They have finally gained the approval needed to continue using a form of electroshock therapy on students after a very long and intense battle with state officials. This is the only learning center in the country to use the graduated electronic decelerator in order to ‘control’ the behavior of students who have developmental delays. This machine works by giving a shock to the student when he or she behaves in ways that they do not want them to. This in an attempt to correct them.
ABC7 reported as follows in regards to its use at JRC:
At JRC, the electrical shocks associated with GED are used to prevent and control self-injury or violent aggression. The skin shock might be used when the patient is aggressive against someone else (hitting, biting, or throwing things), or even to themselves (slamming their own head against a wall or trying to hurt themselves in another way).
“There is a process the committee goes through where the therapy is peer-reviewed to see what has been tried and what worked. Some of these parents have been dealing with these issues for 15 years; there are times when children attack their own parents. To people who think we don’t care, it’s not that, but it is an option when everything else fails,” said the JRC Parents’ Group.
This sounds great, right? They sugar coated everything to make it sound good, didn’t they? Well not so much if you really look into what is happening. Electroshock therapy is something no one should have to go through. The FDA has reported that electroshock therapy including GED can cause burning of the skin, trauma, and so much more.
ABC7 went on to also report something very important:
In 2011 and 2012, the FDA put forth warnings to JRC, saying the center was not following guidelines in regard to GED.
And, in 2016, the FDA put forth a proposal to ban GED, but the rule has yet to be implemented.
Sure, it is thought to be a last resort for most of the people who bring their children to the center but do the risks make it worth it? This is something that will continue to be controversial until the end of time. Would you be willing to allow someone to use electroshock therapy on your child?
JRC has been caught truly torturing children in the past with this kind of therapy and there is no doubt that in the future they might go too far with it again. How do we know that the people taking care of these children aren’t going to shock a little too much on their bad days? Should this kind of thing be allowed? How in the world is this still be allowed?
Image via Hollywood Reporter