The high court has granted a woman with Parkinson’s disease who
was given electro convulsive therapy against her will permission to
seek a judicial review of her treatment.
Last week Mr Justice Munby granted Ms W permission to seek
judicial review of Southern Derbyshire Community and Mental Health
Services NHS Trust’s decision to impose the treatment and the
Mental Health Act Commission’s approval of it.
Doctors at Derby City general hospital decided in May that she
should have the electric shock treatment under the Mental Health
Ms W, who has had Parkinson’s disease for over 10 years,
underwent ECT 17 times. She refused to continue because she felt it
had not worked.
Professor Adrian Williams, a senior adviser on the Parkinson’s
Disease Society’s medical advisory panel, said Ms W’s doctors must
have had good cause to go ahead against her will.
He said: “Depression is very common with Parkinson’s disease and
it doesn’t always respond to medication.
“I have been in the Parkinson’s field for a long time and I have
never recommended ECT for a patient although I have thought about
However, policy director of the mental health charity Mind Melba
Wilson said people should not be given ECT against their will
“regardless of their mental capacity”.