1st Edition

Ethics in Electroconvulsive Therapy

By Jan-Otto Ottosson, Max Fink Copyright 2004

    Few mental illness treatments are more reviled in the public mind than Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy. However, in reality, ECT is a safe and effective treatment for cases of clinical depression and catatonia that are unresponsive to drug therapy. Also, unlike drugs, ECT has relatively few side effects. The authors argue that it is time for this historically stigmatized procedure to be reevaluated.

    The authors make a strong case for greater professional and public attention to the procedure's benefits, offering historical coverage of ECT-related movements, legislation, public and practitioner sentiment and the introduction of competing treatments. This volume will not only garner the interest of mental health professionals, but will call on policy makers and ethicists to examine its arguments.

    Preface. The Stigmatization Of ECT. Principles Of Medical Ethics. Previous Ethical Approaches To ECT. Beneficence. Non-maleficence. Autonomy. Justice. Balancing. Ethical Principles. Conclusions. References. Biographies. Index


    Jan-Otto Ottosson, Max Fink

    "Here, in 127 pages, is the story of why one of psychiatry's most effective treatments has fallen victim to misunderstanding and stigmatization. Certainly, if you're someone influencing the care of sick or disturbed persons, you might appreciate this refresher course on the indications for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), especially when it is the therapy of choice or could be lifesaving. In short, Ottosson and Fink review clinical indications of ECT and attempt to dispel some of the lingering biases that have arisen in the last fifty years." - Charles R. Young, retired, Christian Medican-Dental Society, Illinois, USA, in Ethics & Medicine, Fall 2010