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Electroconvulsive Therapy: Related Deaths

Volume 570: debated on Friday 8 March 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to their Written Answer of 15th February (col.

WA 55) suggesting that only one death has resulted from electro-shock since 1993, whether they are aware of studies conducted in the United States of America and in Britain which show that around one in 200 elderly patients have died following electro-shock; whether they will implement a procedure which would accurately monitor deaths following this treatment; and if not, why not.

We have no evidence that ECT is disproportionately risky in older people. It remains a valuable treatment in the field of old age psychiatry.