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Sept 25, 1967

Electric Shock Therapy

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore

JAMA. 1967;201(13):1054. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130130080034

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To the Editor:—  In a recent discussion under law and medicine (201, July 10, 1967, adv p 235), "Psychiatric Procedures and Their Legal Effects," there are several statements that are distrubing and inaccurate:

  1. It is stated, for example, that it is customary to administer electroshock therapy not more than three times per week. In this community it is common to treat patients daily, and in this university hospital we commonly give patients several seizures in sequence, apparently shortening the amount of hospitalization required as well as the number of treatments (Blachly, P. and Gowing, D.: Multiple Monitored Electroconvulsive Treatment, Compr Psychiat 7:100-109 [April] 1966).

  2. The last paragraph in that article stated, "Most of the drugs

used as antidepressants are related chemically to the amphetamine group...." This is totally inaccurate. The amphetamines are psychomotor stimulants of no value for most depressive reactions that psychiatrists see. Most of