ECT as an Effective Treatment for Self Harm

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ECT as an Effective Treatment for Self Harm in Extreme Cases of Mentally Unstable Patients who Cannot Give Informed Consent There is much controversy in regards to how far a practitioner should go to protect a patient's well-being, whilst trying to adhere to their rights and consent of treatment methods (Feldman, 1990, p. 261). The most ethical solution is to only resort to extreme methods of treatments if the patient is clearly seen as not being mentally stable enough to provide the right judgement call, and if they are in a life-threatening situation in which they could potentially harm themselves or others. In cases where patients are not mentally stable enough to give their consent, their family, guardians, partners, or an authorized medical practitioner should be able to decide for them. In such cases ECT, electro-convulsive therapy is an effective treatment for severe cases and can be used without a patients consent because it has proven to be greatly effective. Many practitioners argue that punitive treatments such as this are harsh, unethical, and unnecessary (Feldman, 1990, 262). However, much research confirms that ECT effectively helps deplete these aggressive acts and it can therefore be seen as ethical and right, despite the fact that patients consent is not given because from a cost-benefit point of view, extreme methods of treatment should be used if it could make the difference of life or death in a patient. Studies by Watchtel et al., Dean, and Kellner et al., demonstrate how ECT can be effective for patients who commit self-injurious actions due to various behavioural disorders such as autism, depression, and bipolar disorder. Thus ECT is justifiable if used in extreme cases such as these, and this method is e... ... middle of paper ... ...). Retrieved January 27, 2014, from doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12050648 Feldman, Maurice A..Balancing freedom from harm and the right to treatment in persons with developmental disabilities In Perspectives on the use of nonaversive and aversive interventions for persons with developmental disabilities, edited by Repp, Alan C., Singh, Nirbhay N., 261- 271. Sycamore, IL, US: Sycamore Publishing Company, 1990. Kellner, C. H., Greenberg, R. M., Murrough, J. W., Bryson, E. O., Briggs, M. C., & Pasculli, R. M. (2012). ECT in Treatment Resistant Depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 169(12). Retrieved January 14, 1927, from doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12050648 Wachtel, L. E., Contrucci-Kuhn, S. A., Griffin, M., Thompson, A., Dhossche, D. M., & Reti, I. M. (2009). ECT For Self-Injury in an Autistic Boy. European Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 18(7), 458-463.

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