FDA Considering Ban On Electric Shocks To Change Harmful Behaviors In People With Developmental Disabilities

The CBS Evening News (8/5, story 7, 5:55, Pelley) reported, “Tonight, we have a CBS News investigation into the use of electric shocks to change harmful behaviors in children and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism.” The FDA is now “considering a ban” on the practice which is currently used only at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA. CBS News correspondent Anna Werner explained that the center insists that “a program of electric shocks, shocks they compared to a bee sting, works better than medication to stop people with severe disabilities from injuring themselves or others.”

The CBS News (8/6, Burkholder) website reports that Jennifer Msumba, who spent seven years at the Rotenberg Center, was “shocked multiple times before she left…in 2009.” In April, “Msumba provided testimony to a US Food and Drug Administration panel” which had convened “to discuss a ban on using electrical stimulation devices to modify aggressive or self-injurious behavior in people with severe emotional problems and developmental disorders.” Msumba described the practice of being shocked as “being underground in Hell.”

Related Links:

— “Controversy over shocking people with autism, behavioral disorders,” Amy Burkholder, CBS News, August 5, 2014.

Posted in In The News.