'The Utmost Discretion: How Presumed Prudence Leaves Children Susceptible to Electroshock'
Cheryl van Daalen-Smith, Simon Adam, Peter Breggin, Brenda A. LeFrancois
Children & Society Volume 28, (2014) pp. 205-217
"This article examines the controversial and largely publicly
undocumented practice of administering electroconvulsive therapy (ECT or
electroshock) to children who are undergoing psychiatric treatment.
Conventional psychiatric beliefs and practices are challenged, along
with a presentation of the history of scientific research which
questions electroshock's 'effectiveness' and outlines its brain-damaging
and incapacitating effects.
As such, we provide counterarguments regarding the legitimacy
of ECT as a treatment option, deconstructing the principle of presumed
prudence in its use. Our analysis leads us to conclude that the
'principle of presumed prudence' should be eschewed in favour of the
'precautionary principle', in order to underscore and uphold the medical
ethos 'to do no harm' and to ensure the application of children's
rights within the psychiatric system."
c2014 John Wiley a Sons Ltd and National Childrell's Bureau
Keywords: children, electroshock, consent, psychiatry, rights, precautionary principle.
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