FDA bans shock device used on mentally disabled patients


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Health experts have called the devices outdated and unethical for years and have pushed for the ban. Only one facility in the U.S. still uses 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.

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(This story was originally published on March 4, 2020.)

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