Interview with/ about Ray

ray

Forced Electroshock-

Question: Is “forced treatment” really “treatment” or is it “Torture”?

This is an interview on NPR (click on link):

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98273451

Background (mostly from MindFreedom):

Ray Alerts

(I apologize for repetitive information)

MindFreedom International – 16 November 2008
Ray Human Rights Alert #3: Please Forward

Now see a photo of Ray here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    Media ought to ask, “What is Minnesota Governor Pawlenty’s 
position on Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?”

    Ray gets a one week reprieve.

First the good news.

Within days of MindFreedom launching its campaign on 7 November 2008 
to stop the weekly involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray 
Sandford, his doctor has decided to “skip a Wednesday.”

Ray says that this coming Wednesday, 19 November 2008, for the first 
time in months, Ray will not be escorted against his will, under 
court order, from his Minnesota home out in the community to his 34th 
involuntary outpatient electroshock.

So there’s a reprieve for Ray.

For one week.

The bad news is that Ray’s doctor said Ray’s forced outpatient 
electroshocks will resume on Wednesday, 26 November 2008, the day 
before the USA holiday of Thanksgiving.

Ray said his involuntary shock will then continue every other week.

We don’t know if the one-week reprieve is because of the MindFreedom 
campaign, but we know MindFreedom News readers are having an impact.

Since the MindFreedom first alert went out nine days ago, on 7 
November 2008:

    *** Many people from all over the world have e-mailed and phoned 
the offices of the Governor of Minnesota, along with social service 
agencies, media, and the hospital where Ray receives his electroshock 
against his expressed wishes.

    *** For the first time, thousands of people are now aware of the 
existence of IOE — Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock.

    *** A few national and local media are now actively investigating.

    *** Several advocacy agencies and human rights organizations are 
expressing concern and getting involved.

    *** Several volunteer attorneys are now in touch to provide 
assistance.

    *** Volunteers are visiting Ray and sending him their support, 
and Ray tells us he is grateful. One volunteer took the photo of Ray 
shown on the web version of this alert:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    *** MindFreedom’s “Zapback” e-mail list is coordinating the 
campaign.

    *** A disability professor and her class of students have called 
up Ray and are taking on his campaign as a project.

    *** And more.

Thank you, everyone.

Keep up the pressure and the support!

    KEEP IT UP!

First, keep phoning and e-mailing, especially if you have not so far. 
Show there is national and international concern!

Here are the links to the original two MindFreedom alerts, which have 
information about how to e-mail and phone the Governor of Minnesota, 
and how to write or visit Ray:

7 Nov: Alert #1:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray-sandford

12 Nov: Alert #2 – Governor Phone-In Campaign:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/pawlenty-electroshock

16 Nov: Alert #3 – Link to this alert with photo of Ray:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    SOLVE A MYSTERY!

Second, help MindFreedom answer the main mystery.

Despite all this public interest the question remains, “What is 
Governor Pawlenty’s position on Minnesota laws allowing involuntary 
outpatient electroshock?”

Is this Governor, who campaigns for “limited government,” for such 
laws or against them?

Unfortunately, the Governor’s office has not responded to any of the 
many e-mails or phone calls requesting his policy position. The 
Governor’s office is immediately forwarding citizen inquiries to a 
voice mail, and then not replying to the voice mail.

We need media to ask the Governor for us. Please forward this alert 
to all media, small and large, from newspapers to bloggers.

Media can direct questions to:

Brian McClung
Director of Communications for Minnesota’s Governor
phone: (651) 296-0001.

Media ought to ask, “What is Governor Pawlenty’s position on 
Minnesota laws allowing involuntary outpatient electroshock?”

Sometimes the Governor’s office is re-directing calls to the 
Minnesota Department of Human Rights. At first that sounds good. But 
this office says it is only focused on determining whether narrow 
discrimination complaints are legally valid. A spokesperson said this 
department makes no statements about policy.

This Minnesota agency said they are planning a major one-day human 
rights conference
and forum on 5 December. One barrier is the “forum” 
costs $200.

For information on this Minn. Dept. of Human Rights, and their 
“forum,” click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/minnesota-human-rights-conference
or use this link:
http://tinyurl.com/mn-human-rights

You can also keep up with some of the latest developments about the 
Ray Campaign on the MindFreedom blog by MindFreedom director David 
Oaks, here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/mfi-blog

Disclaimer: Because the State of Minnesota won’t reply, portions of 
these alerts are based on Ray’s personal statements. By Ray’s own 
admission, he now has severe memory problems. Therefore, journalists 
may want to find a second source to confirm accuracy.

MindFreedom International – 24 November 2008
Ray Human Rights Alert #4: Please Forward

    You Can Ask: Thanksgiving Reprieve?

    MindFreedom Filing Complaint with UN Claiming “Torture” in Minnesota

    The next forced outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford is 
scheduled for this Wednesday morning, 26 November 2008, the day 
before the USA holiday of Thanksgiving.

    Join an international campaign *NOW* to phone Minnesota Governor 
Tim Pawlenty
today and tomorrow, before the shock:

1) Ask the Governor to give Ray Sandford a reprieve from his next 
forced electroshock.

2) Ask the Governor — who claims to believe in limited government — 
if he supports laws in Minnesota allowing this torture: the 
involuntary administration of electroshock therapy (ECT) of people 
living out in the community?

A MindFreedom investigation revealed that Ray Sandford, 54, 
complained of being escorted every week for months from his supported 
living home in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for 
another course of electroshock over his objection.

After the first MindFreedom News international alert, Ray’s doctor 
let him skip his forced shock this past Wednesday, 19 November.

This Wednesday morning, 26 November, Ray expects to be woken up early 
once again to be escorted the 15 miles to what he is told will be his 
34th involuntary outpatient electroshock under special Minnesota laws.

Meanwhile, MindFreedom is filing a official claim with the United 
Nations
calling Minnesota’s abuse of Ray “torture,” using a new 
process and expanded definition by the UN.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

  ** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

Join in a MindFreedom international phone-in campaign!

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW* — and insist on talking 
to a staff person.

Call any day, but especially call today and tomorrow, *before* Ray’s 
scheduled electroshock this Wednesday.

From anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

NOTE: Staff is directing many of these calls into voice mail
MindFreedom is not aware of anyone actually getting a response to 
this voice mail.

DO NOT GIVE UP! Politely but FIRMLY insist on on talking to a staff 
person.

If you get redirected to voice mail leave a message, but call back 
until you get an answer from a live person.

If you do receive any helpful information, e-mail it to 
news@mindfreedom.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ray Campaign News Updates:

    MindFreedom Filing Complaint with United Nations Alleging 
“Torture” by Minnesota

This past Friday, 21 November, disability advocates met with Ray at 
the Minnesota Center for Independent Living. Ray told advoctates he 
very much supports this campaign.

During the meeting a teleconference was held with MindFreedom 
President Celia Brown in New York City and MindFreedom Director David 
Oaks in Oregon. Celia interviewed Ray so that MindFreedom may file a 
human rights complaint under a new process with a United Nations 
Special Rappateur. Because of recent developments, some types of 
severe psychiatric abuse may now be considered torture by the UN.

Involuntary outpatient electroshock (IOE) is part of a trend to bring 
the power of forced psychiatric procedures out into the community, 
from the back ward to your front porch.

Mind your freedom: Your home is no longer your castle… it can 
become your ward.

Electroshock itself has made a comeback throughout the USA, and 
internationally, without adequate human rights protection.

You may read some of the many public comments that have been e-mailed 
to the Governor at tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/sandford-support-letters

For a full-sized photo of Ray click on his image here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray
MindFreedom International – Ray Alert #5
Win Human Rights in Mental Health – Please Forward!
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/alert-5-sandford

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ray’s Next Scheduled Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock is:
    10 December — International Human Rights Day!

by David W. Oaks, Executive Director, MindFreedom International

This Wednesday, 10 December 2008, human rights activists all over the 
world will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the 
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10 December is the UN’s official International Human Rights Day.

10 December is also the day that Ray Sandford is scheduled to receive 
his 35th involuntary outpatient electroshock.

NEW ON WEB: Learn Ray’s story — Frequently Asked Questions About Ray 
Sandford Campaign, click here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/sandford-faq

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Latest News on Ray Campaign

Unless action is taken swiftly, then this Wednesday morning, as he 
has been for most mornings in the last few months, Ray will be 
awakened early by staff in his room at the group residence Victory 
House near Minneapolis.

Once more an escort will bring him against his will the 15 miles to 
Mercy Hospital, where once more — under court order — doctors will 
place electrodes on his head for another electroconvulsive therapy 
(ECT), or electroshock, that can and has wiped out precious memories 
and cognitive abilities from Ray.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Good News About Ray Campaign:

Because of MindFreedom’s campaign to support Ray Sandford:

* The Minnesota Governor’s office reports receiving “hundreds” of 
complaints. Thank you everyone!

* Three agencies are now working to replace Ray’s non-responsive 
court-appointed attorney with a new attorney.

* National media has finally interviewed Ray for an upcoming broadcast.

    The Bad News: It is Not Enough! Speak Out Now!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

It is time to take the Ray Campaign up a notch, peacefully but strongly!

Let this become a top issue in the Governor’s office.

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray’s scheduled 
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

memory-ash1

    WHY WON’T GOVERNOR PAWLENTY REPLY? Find out! Ask!

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has completely stone-walled!

* His office refuses to issue any statement on the policy of forced 
electroshock.

* He claims he can do nothing, that the courts are in charge, when he 
could at least make sure Ray gets better legal representation for a 
stay or appeal.

* His office operators have been instructed to immediately redirect 
calls about Ray into a voice mail. No one we know of has ever heard 
back. Some operators have hung up on callers.

* Meanwhile, the Governor is sponsoring a $200-a-head luxury hotel 
conference about International Human Rights Day!

    It is time to get creative!

* Ray will not give up!

* We will not give up!

* Don’t you give up!

    Please be peaceful, but be CREATIVELY MALADJUSTED in your next 
phone calls to Governor Pawlenty’s office.

First, get the name of the operator and write it down. Then start by 
asking polite but firm questions about advocacy…

* about citizen input…

* about who to talk to about mental health policy

* about the names and phone numbers of the Ombudsman office

* about mental health policy and the mental health division

* about how poor people can have adequate legal representation…

And only then ask about why the Governor is refusing to speak out 
about Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?

Insist on speaking to a live real person about this issue.

If you do not get a real person with a real reply, CALL BACK.

If an operator hangs up on you, call back and ask to speak to a 
manager and complain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

REMEMBER:

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray’s scheduled 
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

If you do receive any helpful information or leads, e-mail it to news-
at-mindfreedom.org.

scales_mini

Other Ray correspondence:

November 15, 2008
Attention:
Chair, Human Rights Committee
Office of the High Commission on Human Rights
United Nations

Dear Chairperson,
I am forwarding the letter below, initially addressed to Mr.Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, for your information and possible action. It concerns the forced electroshocking of Mr. Ray Sandford, a psychiatric outpatient in Minnesota. Despite his repeated refusal, Mr. Sandford has been court-ordered to submit to the memory-destroying, brain-damaging  psychiatric procedure of electroshock (”electroconvulsive therapy” or “ECT”).  Together with many other psychiatric survivors and human rights activists, I am absolutely convinced that the health, safety and human rights of Mr. Sandford and thousands of other citizens are being seriously and repeatedly violated by physicians, particularly psychiatrists, as well as Governor Pawlenty and the State of Minnesota.

I would appreciate knowing if the Human Rights Committee considers electroshock, particularly forced electroshock, a form of torture, a serious human rights violation. Many of us psychiatric survivors and human rights activists believe it is. For over twenty-five (25) years, hundreds, if not thousands, of electroshock survivors, other psychiatric survivors, human rights activists, health professionals including several psychiatrists and neurologists, and concerned citizens have publicly and frequently protested against electroshock. We have repeatedly urged a total and immediate ban on electroshock in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand.

To date, I have not received a reply from Governor Pawlenty. Please acknowledge receipt of my letter, I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,
Don Weitz
Executive Member, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault – http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto,Ontario M4R 2G3 Canada

November  12, 2008

Governor Tim Pawlenty
State of Minnesota
tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

Dear Governor Pawlenty,
As an antipsychiatry activist and psychiatric survivor of insulin shock treatment many years ago in Massachusetts, I am writng to strongly protest against the forced electroshock (”ECT”) inflicted on 54-year old Ray Sandford in Minnesota. I understand Mr. Sandford is being forcibly taken (”escorted”) to Mercy Hospital  (”Mercy”?)  where he is being shocked against his will or without consent every Wednesday morning. Given the fact that psychiatrists and other doctors do not inform patients about the common and severe risks of permanent memory loss and brain damage, and given the fact that psychiatrists and other doctors frequently use blackmail or threats and intimidation to get “ECT” patients to consent, no person can possibly give “voluntary and informed consent” to electroshock. Informed consent in the “mental health system” is a compete myth, a sham

Electroshock itself is a traumatic and horrific psychiatric procedure (not “treatment”);  it always causes some degree of brain-damage including permanent memory loss. After having listened to the personal and public testimonies of numerous shock survivors in Canada and the United States and after having read many independent studies of electroshock in the medical-psychiatric literature during the last 30 years, there is absolutely no doubt that electroshock is inherently destructive, inhumane and unethical; the use of force is particularly torturous. State-sanctioned use of police powers to inflict electroshock on Mr.Sandford against his will – and inflicted on any other US citizen for that matter – is a serious violation of his constitutional and human rights, a serious violation of the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture, and a serious violation of Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that specifically prohibits any “cruel and unusual treatment or degrading punishment, or torture”.

Thousands of shock survivors, including myself, advocacy and human rights organizations and several psychiatrists and neurologists in the United States and other countries have advocated a total ban on electroshock. Some states in your country have restricted the use of electroshock – for example, Texas, California and Oregon. Why not Minnesota?

I am copying this to the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture, other international human rights bodies, advocacy organizations of psychiatric survivors, several concerned psychiatrists and neurologists, and the media.

In the interests of Mr Sandford’s health, safety and human rights, I urge you to use your office and  power as Governor to stop electroshocking Ray Sandford now.
Stop state-sanctioned torture in Minnesota!
I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
Don Weitz
Executive member, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault – http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto, Ontario M4R 2G3

c: MindFreedom International
United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Committee Against Torture
Amnesty International
Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
Editor-in-Chief, The New  York Times

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1 Comment

Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, pictures, wellness and systems change

One response to “Interview with/ about Ray

  1. naturalgal

    I phoned right before Christmas and I was sent to voice mail. I have never heard back from Gov. Pawlenty. Usually politicians will email back..or even ask for your Zip Code. I will try to contact Pawlenty again.

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