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FDA bans shock device used on mentally disabled patients

Shock Device Government Ban
Posted at 3:58 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 18:58:46-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is banning electrical shock devices used to discourage aggressive behaviors in patients with disabilities.  

Health experts have called the devices outdated and unethical for years and pushed for the ban.

Only one facility in the U.S. still uses the shock treatment — a residential school in Massachusetts. The school's administrators have said the shocks help control violent behaviors that endanger patients and those around them.  But most experts say the shocks are harmful and don't work. Instead they recommend modern treatments, including behavioral therapy and medications.

A parents' group and the school said 'Wednesday they would fight FDA's ban in court.

Shock Device Government Ban
FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2014 file photo, a therapist checks the ankle strap of an electrical shocking device on a student during an exercise program at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Mass. The student, who was born with a developmental disorder, wears the device so administrators can control violent episodes. On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it is banning a class of controversial devices used to discourage aggressive, self-injurious behavior in patients with mental disabilities. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)