Local electroshock survivor brings historic class action lawsuit against device manufacturers


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Wed, 11/15/2017 - 8:00am to 9:00am
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Guests: Deborah Schwartzkopff, with another shock victim and psychologist John Breeding, long-time anti-electroshock activist



McMinnville-based Deborah Schwartzkopff is a retired trauma nurse with experience working in addictions with dual diagnosis clients. She has been an activist against the practice of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) since 2011, after she herself underwent extensive shock "treatments," with an inadequate consent agreement.  She recently found representation for patients in what is going to be a national class action product liability suit around the devices used in ECT or electroshock. The suit was filed on behalf of survivors on September 11 in California. The devices were grandfathered in by the FDA over 60 years ago, and neither the device nor the procedure have ever had FDA testing for safety or effectiveness. The devices have never had to have pre-market approval though now they have computer features. The devices deliver a high voltage of electricity through patient’s brains to induce a convulsion to supposedly help with mental illness. This practice is increasing and offered at most moderate size hospitals that have psychiatric units. For more information, visit her website: ectjustice.com.

Dr. John Breeding is a psychologist with a  private counseling practice in Austin, Texas. He works with parents and children, assisting adults in becoming more effective in their work with young people, offering non-drug alternatives to helping young people who are having a hard time. Dr. Breeding is also active against psychiatric oppression, including electroshock, and the psychiatric drugging of elders in nursing homes.

He  has been active for about 20 years in challenging the psychiatric practice of electroshock. He served on the advisory board of the World Association of Electroshock survivors for many years, and was instrumental in the passage of significant legislation providing protection for Texas citizens regarding the use of electroshock in Texas, which is one state that actually bans electroshock on children under age 17.  He is a founding member of the Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas (CAEST).

Dr. Breeding has written five books, his newest is called Leaving Home:The Journey From Birth To Emerging Adulthood (see his website).

Electroshock survivor Colleen had a successful design business and was married with two children when she began to suffer stress and ended up hospitalized, diagnosed with recurrent major depression and bipolar disorder. The diagnosis was made in her first consultation with the doctor and in just 15 minutes. Immediately after, ECT  was prescribed.  Following the first procedure she no longer knew who or where she was. After four months of "treatment," she lost years of her memory.



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