ECT as an Effective Treatment for Self Harm

1329 Words Jul 7th, 2018 6 Pages
ECT as an Effective Treatment for Self Harm in Extreme Cases of Mentally Unstable Patients who Cannot Give Informed Consent There is much controversy in regards to how far a practitioner should go to protect a patient's well-being, whilst trying to adhere to their rights and consent of treatment methods (Feldman, 1990, p. 261). The most ethical solution is to only resort to extreme methods of treatments if the patient is clearly seen as not being mentally stable enough to provide the right judgement call, and if they are in a life-threatening situation in which they could potentially harm themselves or others. In cases where patients are not mentally stable enough to give their consent, their family, guardians, partners, or an authorized …show more content…
Research by Kellner et al. has also shown how ETC can be effective for behavioural disorders, but in this case, for severe depression. Kellner defends this treatment explaining that many controversies have arose regarding ECT because of misrepresentations of it in the media and lack of knowledge of the logistics of its mechanisms. Patient, "Ms. A.", a 72-year-old woman became seriously depressed and was not responding to any psychotherapy or drugs pertaining to clinical depression. She was barely able to function properly, and after a course of eight ECT sessions of "unilateral ultrabrief pulse treatments", her score on the Hamilton Depression Rating scale, ranked out of 24, went from 38 to 6. She was soon able to continue her usual daily activities (Kellner, 2012, p. 1-2). Miss. A's results from ETC showed that this method of treatment greatly improved her previously severe depression. Depression can lead to attempts at suicide as well as self-harming ones' self, so extreme punitive treatments are better to pursue than allowing the chance of a patient taking ones' own life.(Feldman 1990, p. 263). It is emphasized that consent of patients that are legally incompetent for medical decision making should have a legal guardian to decide for them (Kellner 2012, p. 5). Thus, ETC has shown to be