May 9, 2019

Alert 99: ECT Protesters on The Dr. Breggin Hour

The May 8, 2019 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour was a landmark radio program to be listened in the show archives.  This Saturday May 12 at noon in Toronto at Queens Park, there is a shock protest and a hunger strike taking place against ECT.   This radio hour was happily given over to the protestors.

This amazing hour begins with my interviewing Bonnie Burstow, PhD, a leading Canadian, researcher, teacher and writer in criticizing psychiatric oppression.  She is joined by Connie Neil, an 80-year-old Canadian shock survivor who plans to participate in the hunger strike.  Stephen Ticktin,  a Canadian psychiatrist and devoted international activist then comes on the air with us.  He is followed by Don Weitz, a Canadian survivor of insulin coma shock, who has for decades been a leading psychiatric reformer.  Each of them will be at the shock protest.  Finally, we are joined by an anonymous American shock survivor.  

Shock treatment is a crime against humanity that is defended by all the force that can be leveraged by psychiatry, including the shock and drug manufacturers, the psychiatric and medical associations, the media, federal insurance programs including Medicare, and the FDA.   

From the human stories to the politics and the details about how shock causes damage—this is an extraordinary hour.  It was for me also a great moment, having so many old friends and reform-minded colleagues together on the air. 

When the show started, I had no idea how amazing it would become.   It is disillusioning to hear that such a dreadful abuse as ECT has recently found FDA approval but it is inspiring to hear the progress being made in the courts, including my research and forensic work.  Most inspiring is how survivors of shock treatment like Connie and Don, continue to fight back along with honorable professionals, like Bonnie and Stephen. 

On my free ECT Resource Center, you can find out all you need to know about shock treatment which is more damaging in its modern form than it was decades ago, and it is making a comeback!  Go to

Peter R. Breggin