Electroconvulsive Therapy: Administrative Codes, Legislation, and Professional Recommendations

 
 J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 34:3:406-411 (2006)
Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.


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ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY

Electroconvulsive Therapy: Administrative Codes, Legislation, and Professional Recommendations

Victoria Harris, MD, MPH

Dr. Harris is Medical Director of Psychiatric Services, Stevens Hospital, Edmonds, WA. Address correspondence to: Victoria Harris, MD, MPH, Stevens Hospital, 9 West, 21601 76th Avenue West, Edmonds, WA 98026. E-mail: vharris@u.washington.edu

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.