Monday, July 23, 2007

Speak out about ECT at NY hearings

Stop Forced Shock! Speak out at July 2007 public hearings in New York State!

by David W. Oaks last modified 2007-07-19 14:27

You can speak out at four (4) public hearings in the next two weeks in New York State to oppose their practice of giving forced, involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject!

Stop Forced Shock! Speak out at July 2007 public hearings in New York State!

Say No! New York State government is aggressively pursuing forced electroshock of its citizens.

MindFreedom New York Alert - 19 July 2007
urgent: please forward!

Concerned about forced electroshock in New York State by the Office of Mental Health (OMH)?

Here's how you can speak out!

Go to one of these four (4) OMH public events in the last two weeks of July 2007!

As you may know, the New York Office of mental health is aggressively pursuing involuntary (forced) electroshock over the expressed wishes of some of their clients, such as "Simone D."

Now you can speak out peacefully but forcefully face to face with OMH officials at four (4) OMH public briefings and hearings in the next two weeks.

One event is on the subject of "recipient affairs," and the other three on their "Comprehensive Plan" will include OMH Commissioner Hogan.


Brief Background about Forced Shock in NY State:

Courageous attorneys Kim Darrow and Dennis Feld have fought hard for clients facing forced electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Unfortunately, in the case of Simone D., they lost.

Now Simone's right to say "no" to forced electroshock is in the court of public opinion.

For a news release about this campaign including how to lobby about Simone D. by e-mail go to:

Now New York State residents can speak out directly face-to-face at OMH public events in July 2007!

The Office of Mental Health has announced a number of public events where *YOU* can speak out.


There are four (4) known OMH public events left in July!


An OMH Recipient Advisory Committee will be held on Monday, 23 July 23 2007, at 3 pm, and will continue on Tuesday. We hear these are fairly large events. Just show up early, fill out your own name tag, and join in! Location: Comfort Inn, 99 Miller Road, East Greenbush, New York. Phone for Comfort In: (518) 479-3217.

For more info and directions to this Recipient Affairs meeting on 23 July go to:


Three (3) briefings and public hearings will also be held with OMH Commissioner Hogan about their "Comprehensive Plan" in these next two weeks!

These three (3) public meetings are on the 20th (Syracuse), 30th (New York City), and 31st (at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Long Island). Each of these "Comprehensive Plan" meetings has a 10 am briefing followed by a 2 pm public hearing.

You can find the exact date, time and locations for the three "Comprehensive Plan" hearings here:

Or go directly to the OMH web page here:

Or use:



OMH Commissioner Hogan intends to be at these hearings asking about their "Comprehensive Plan." In OMH's own words he will ask, "Are services consumer and family centered and consumer and family driven?"

Even one single forced electroshock means the answer is: "No, No, No!"

You are encourage to attend all or any of these four events and speak out!

While of course you may want to sign up early for the public hearing, given the urgency of the situation some individuals may want to consider nonviolent creative ways to make their concerns known at other times during the event including the "briefing": banner, sign, symbol, hand-outs, etc.

Perhaps you can find out some answers.

For instance, at the recipient meetings especially, you can ask why did John Allen, director of OMH Recipient Affairs, claimed to MindFreedom recently that "less than a dozen" New York State citizens received court-ordered electroshock without their consent last year at OMH facilities, and that the number of forced shocks is going down?

What is his data based on? What are the exact numbers?

Why has just one region of NY State, the few counties served by Darrow & Feld, had more than 15 OMH applications for forced shock in just the past six months for 2007, alone? And that's just one region?

Why does OMH claim that Commissioner Hogan's hands are tied by the courts, when John Allen at the same time also claims OMH has been able to take pro-active steps to lower the amount of forced shock in the past few years?

Whether or not OMH actually did lower the number of forced shock in the last few years, by his statement then of course OMH admits to having discretion.

At the very least Commissioner Hogan can make a public announcement of a goal to end forced shock! Commissioner Hogan spoke out during the President's New Freedom Commission that he supported empowerment and self-determination.

Now is his chance to show it!

And isn't it true that each and every court-ordered involuntary electroshock must begin with a REQUEST initiated by OMH to the courts?

Stand up... speak out... spread the word!

Stop Forced Electroshock in New York State!!



MindFreedom Free Live Internet Radio will have a special call-in show about forced electroshock in New York State with one or both lawyers for Simone D.! Listen and call-in live by clicking on this Wednesday, 25 July 2007, at 4 pm ET.

Info on MindFreedom Internet radio here:


And remember, no matter what, keep up the peaceful pressure on the five New York State officials listed in the human rights alert. It takes you just a moment to e-mail in your concern... about the same time it takes to administer a forced electroshock!


More information about NY State, including getting on this news list:

More info about MindFreedom, including how to join as a member and get on NY State discussion list:

URGENT: Please forward this to others who care about human rights in New York State!