Electroshock and Minors: A Fifty-Year Review

By Steve Baldwin; Melissa Oxlad | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Additional Case Studies

INTRODUCTION

The publication of the Journal of Mental Health ( 1996) paper documented 217 known cases of EST given to minors. In the intervening years since publication of that review, other cases were located in the published literature. Case summaries of these publications are reproduced here.

Levy S., & Southcombe R. H., ( 1951). Value of convulsive therapy in juvenile schizophrenia. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 65, 54-59.

Levy and Southcombe reported the use of convulsive therapy, ECT, insulin shock treatment and metrazol shocks with forty-seven seven clients under 18 years. All these minors had a diagnosis of "one of the schizophrenic reaction types" (p. 56). Of these forty-seven minors, eleven were given a minimum of one full series of ECT treatment, (fifteen to twenty ECTs) and all but one of the eleven clients also were given insulin shock treatment. Thirty-six other minors were given metrazol shocks and insulin shock treatment, or insulin therapy alone.

The outcome for six clients, including two clients who were given ECT and insulin therapy, was described as "good"; "good means the ability of the patient to leave the hospital after completion of the treatment and to make a permanent satisfactory extra-institutional social adjustment" (p. 57). Ten subjects' responses to convulsive therapy were "fair" to "poor"; after an initial improvement these subjects required readmission. The exact type of convulsive therapy these ten subjects were given was not specified. For the other thirty-two subjects no "benefit whatsoever" was seen.

Subsequently Levy and Southcombe compared these results obtained with

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