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Electro-Convulsive Therapy

Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidelines his Department issues concerning the administration of electro-convulsive therapy in hospitals.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the current arrangements for obtaining consent from patients who are considered to need electro-convulsive therapy or psychosurgery.

My Department has not issued any guidlines to health authorities concerning the administration of electroconvulsive therapy; but I am sending the hon. Member and my hon. Friend a copy of a memorandum by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry of September 1977, which contains recommendations about the standards to be observed in the administration of ECT and advice relating to the obtaining of patients' consent. Consent to treatment is one of the issues on which the Government will be expressing its views in the forthcoming White Paper on the review of the Mental Health Act.