Is there an ethics of electroconvulsive therapy?

Yes. Every physician takes an oath: "first, do no harm". Ect is traditionally reserved for the most severe and intractable forms of psychiatric illness and is most effective in treating depression. Patients with certain medical conditions are excluded (including heart problems among others) and every patient is given informed consent where the benefits and risks of treatment are explained.
Electroshock. The straightforward answer is the ethics of a physician dictates that you choose the best and most appropriate therapy , to the best of your knowledge, to treat your patient. You first "do no harm."i.
ECT. Ect is done today in an ethical and safe manner. It received a "bad name" in the past through movies and the way it may have been done decades ago. It is effective and a good option.

Related Questions

What is electroconvulsive therapy?

Resetting brain. Ect is a controlled therapy in which electrical shocks are introduced into both temples to "reset' the brain. A brief seizure is induced to reset the brain. The hope is that the neurotransmitters in the brain will be released in the right ratios to "fix" depression. Read more...
Treats depression. Ect treats depression - about 60% of those who receive treatment are not depressed at the end of treatment. During the procedure, patient's are put to sleep and paralyzed for about 5 minutes. During this time, an electrical signal causes a seizure which lasts from 20 sec to 2 min. Upon waking, there is some disorientation lasting up to 15 to 30min. Memory loss depends on electrode placement. Read more...

Are there risks of electroconvulsive therapy?

Several risks. Anesthesia carries a risk including allergy and cardiac arrest but no more so than any other procedure. Ect risks include headache, short term disorientation, and memory impairment. This may be mitigated by electrode placement. Right unilateral has very little memory impairment & recovery is quicker. Some degree of memory loss is common with bilateral placement & may be significant. Read more...
Yes. Although electroconvulsive therapy is generally performed under general anesthetic, the brain may still be damaged. In fact memory loss is a common side-effect. Other cognitive changes may occur. Read more...
Yes -memory loss. In addition to the anesthesia risk, there is risk of memory loss some of which may clear with time, but for a small percentage of patients my actually deteriorate after some early recovery. Since many centers do right-sided memory loss, the spatial memory difficulties can be harder to notice - and many more difficulties are noted on neuropsychological than basic neuro testing. Results vary. Read more...

What are the benefits of electroconvulsive therapy?

Symptom relief. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has improved significantly since its initial development in 1938. It is considered safe and effective, according the the national institute of mental health. The procedure is not painful and patients do not feel any discomfort. The benefits: likely remission of severe depression or other symptoms, and reduced relapse with follow-up treatments. Read more...

What is the experience of electroconvulsive therapy?

Varies. Ect treats depression - about 60% of those who receive treatment are not depressed at the end of treatment. During the procedure, patient's are put to sleep and paralyzed for about 5 minutes. During this time, an electrical signal causes a seizure which lasts from 20 sec to 2 min. Upon waking, there is some disorientation lasting up to 15 to 30min. Memory loss depends on electrode placement. Read more...

What is electroconvulsive therapy? How does it work?

ECT. Electroconvulsive therapy is basically giving small electrical shocks to your brain. It is kind of like pushing a 'reset' button for your brain. Your doctor can tell you more about it in regards to if it will be beneficial to your condition. Read more...

Which conditions does electroconvulsive therapy treat?

Depression + more. Ect is the most potent treatment for both bipolar and major depression. Persons with bipolar depression respond more rapidly, requiring about 1/2 as many treatments to completely improve. ~60% of depressed individuals who undergo ECT remit. 50% will relapse in 6mos, though. Ect is used to treat severe psychotic illness but is less effective. There is research into treating parkinson's with it. Read more...
Shock therapy. Electroconvulsive treatment has been shown to help medication resistant depression. Read more...