Judges Rule in Favor of a School’s Use of Shock Therapy That UN Calls Torture

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      This month, the school won a reprieve from a proposed ban after a federal appeals court concluded that the March 2020 decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was beyond the agency’s authority because it interfered with the practice of medicine. Staff at the center use a graduated electronic decelerator, commonly referred to as the GED, to remotely shock students and older clients through electrodes attached to the skin. The facility is the only one known to use the device, invented by the center’s founder.

      All those currently approved for the device are 25 or older, though it has been used on teenagers in the past. Prior to last year’s ban, legal and legislative efforts to stop use of the device had fallen short despite incidents that drew international condemnation, including from the United Nations torture investigator, who found that the device violated the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

      In an incident that led to a state investigation and the resignation of the center’s founder, a former resident posing as a supervisor convinced staff to administer dozens of shocks to two teenagers for alleged misbehavior. Families have also filed suit against the center, including one case in which staff repeatedly shocked a teenager after he allegedly refused to remove his jacket.

      “The GED is a treatment of last resort, and its recipients are at risk of grievous bodily harm, or even death, without it,” the Judge Rotenberg center wrote in a statement. “With the treatment, these residents can continue to participate in enriching experiences, enjoy visits with their families and, most importantly, live in safety and freedom from self-injurious and aggressive behaviors.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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