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Electroconvulsive Therapy: Administrative Codes, Legislation, and Professional Recommendations

By Victoria Harris


Government regulatory involvement in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is due to several factors, including patient advocate groups, prior abuse by psychiatrists, and a general trend of state authority to move into areas traditionally governed by medical authorities. Regardless of the specific reasons, ECT is both highly effective in the treatment of many psychiatric disorders and heavily regulated by state administrative codes and legislation. The purpose of this article is to conduct a systematic review of the state administrative codes and legislation for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and to compare the findings with professional recommendations for the administration of ECT. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 34:406–11, 2006 Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), while highly effec-tive in the treatment of many psychiatric disorders, is heavily regulated by state administrative codes and legislation.1–3 Some have suggested that the regula-tory influence has been motivated by patient advo-cate and special interest groups, and therefore differ in each state.1 Others have suggested that “

Year: 2015
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