Shock Treatment for Women with Mental Issues Banned by MPs

June 22, 2023

Historic Decision: UK MPs Ban Shock Treatment for Women Suffering from Mental Illness


For decades, women with mental health problems have been subjected to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or “shock treatment.” Despite severe side effects and lack of consent, doctors have justified the procedure as a last resort. However, the UK government has banned the practice for women in a landmark decision backed by MPs.

The Development

The new regulations protect vulnerable women from arbitrary ECT, declaring it an option only when other treatments have failed, and the patient has given informed consent. The regulator overseeing the treatment must also give permission before administering ECT. The decision represents a significant progress in UK mental health care, with campaigners refuting the procedure’s effectiveness and demanding more patient-centered care instead.

The Implications

The ban on shock treatment applies mainly to women since research shows that men have less adverse reactions to ECT. However, the new regulations also address an underlying problem of lack of understanding and empathy for people suffering from mental health issues. By prioritizing informed consent and a range of treatment options, the UK sends a buoyant message that mental illness is not a life sentence, and recovery is possible.

Ending Decades of Controversy: UK Government Acts to Protect Vulnerable Women from Barbaric Shock Therapy

The Horror of Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy involves triggering a seizure by passing electric currents through a patient’s brain, with the procedure taking place under general anesthesia. Despite being banned in several countries, the UK still allows it as a mental health treatment albeit under more stringent regulations. The side effects range from memory loss, heart problems, stroke, and extensive confusion.

The Medical Rationale of Shock Therapy

Proponents of shock therapy contend that it is a last-ditch option in severe cases of depression or suicidal tendencies, and the patient has either rejected other treatments or can’t tolerate them. The procedure typically alters neurotransmitter levels in the brain temporarily, providing relief from symptoms. However, critics argue that the short-term upside isn’t worth the long-term risks.

The UK Government’s Proactive Stance

The UK government has taken a positive approach and banned the use of ECT in women except as a matter of last resort. The decision that is mainly aimed at protecting vulnerable women has elicited positive responses from mental health groups, who see it as a reasonable approach to tackle mental health problems in the country. The government is also committed to providing more funding for research into patient-centered treatments and reducing the stigma that surrounds mental health.


Mental health issues are a growing concern worldwide. The number of people dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems is on the rise, and the UK’s decision to ban the use of ECT in women marks a significant milestone in the journey to create a more empathetic and patient-centered healthcare system. The ban is a reflection of the growing awareness and importance of mental health, and it’s a message of hope to those struggling with mental health problems- recovery is not only possible, but it’s also within reach.

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