Murt, Kinsey Introduce Legislation to Stop Electroconvulsive Therapy on Children
HARRISBURG—Reps. Tom Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) and Stephen Kinsey (D-Philadelphia) have introduced legislation, House Bill 1809, prohibiting the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on children across the Commonwealth.

“While ECT remains a controversial treatment for adults, it’s deplorable when done on children who have no say on whether to agree to this brutal treatment,” Murt said. “Yet, kids are still being shocked today. This treatment can cause brain damage. To me, it’s a form of child abuse.”

“The use of electroshock therapy on children is outright cruel and unacceptable,” Kinsey said. “The side effects of ECT can be debilitating even for adults. Children should not be forced to undergo a treatment that can have a lasting impact on their physical and mental well-being.”

ECT, also known as electroshock therapy, is used to treat a number of mental illnesses. It sends up to 450 volts of electricity through an individual’s brain, inducing a grand mal seizure. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reports that these seizures can cause complications including heart attacks, difficulties breathing, confusion, permanent memory loss, brain damage and death.

The nationwide statistics for ECT are alarming, with an estimated 100,000 Americans electroshocked each year. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, it was reported that in 2014 13 children from birth to 5 years of age were given electroshock treatment. Additionally, three adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 were electroshocked that year.

“Children must not be subjected to this barbaric procedure,” Murt said.

House Bill 1809, which would ban the treatment for people age 16 and younger, is currently before the House Health Committee.

Representative Thomas P. Murt
152nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207 /

Share |