Parkinson’s disease sufferer wins right to judicial review of ECT treatment

    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
    Act 1983.

    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
    it.”

    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”.

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