Shock treatment administered to autistic at Mass. School

The Boston-area special needs school, which is called the Judge Rotenberg Center, enrolls students ages 3 to adult, all of whom are either autistic children or are struggling with severe emotional, behavioral or psychiatric disorders. Those students who display undesirable behavior, reports ABC News, are subjected to a treatment which the United Nations is calling "torture." All of the Judge Rotenberg students are subject to shock treatment.

Source for this article: Autistic kids subjected to shock treatment at Mass. School by Personal Money Store

'Aversive therapy' for autistic children not torture, according to JRC.

Calling the JRC's treatment of autistic kids in extreme situations torture is just like calling a physician using a scalpel on a patient assault with a deadly weapon, claim JRC representatives. They claim that shock treatment in short bursts is humane when compared with the alternatives of either allowing emotionally disturbed to cause themselves or any others physical harm or otherwise medicating them into a lobotomized state. Head JRC doctor Matthew Israel explained to ABC the real torture for autistic children and others is the latter. He explained that JRC's shock treatment "has no detrimental effects whatsoever."

One of the two second skin shocks

The Judge Rotenberg Center uses a very small device that administers a shock when necessary as a form of behavioral therapy, says Israel. Students are only subjected to the device after a court and (within the case of autistic children) parents or caregivers have to approve. Supposedly, the short shock hurts just enough to dissuade JRC students from destructive behavior. After periods of good behavior, students are rewarded with points. In total, the Judge Rotenberg Center houses all of these students for $200,000 per year, taxpayer financed.

The U.N. and advocates for the disabled condemn the treatment

Eric Rosenthal, an advocate for the disabled, created a report that really wanted the United Nations to become involved within the JRC's activities. Massachusetts Sen. Brian Joyce has tried to shut down the Judge Rotenberg Center but has been unsuccessful. The United Nations reference America's international treaty stance on torture when referring to the JRC's shock treatment of autistic children and other students. The argument appears to be that if the United States shouldn't be administering shock treatment to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, how can any home soil organization be allowed do it to kids?

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ABC News

Surgeon Sherwin Nuland discusses the development of electroshock therapy (Editor's Note: A small amount of NSFW language is used):