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May 5, 2011

Minnesota Civil Rights Violation: Plan to Electroshock Elizabeth Ellis Update!

Update 5-5-2011

Some good news.

Elizabeth Ellis of Minnesota court order says she is
allowed to say "NO" to forced electroshock, and she's been told she
will be discharged in the next 10 days or so.

More info is on ZAPBACK list for those interested in that campaign.

So hopefully within the next couple of weeks Elizabeth will be getting
e-mail again, so you can start welcoming Elizabeth back at:


Ask Sen. Al Franken: Stop Elizabeth Ellis Forced Electroshock

Elizabeth Ellis, 67, a retired Minnesota teacher, has already had 13 involuntary court-ordered electroshocks this winter, including one on an outpatient basis. For saying "no," she was locked up again. More forced shocks are planned. URGENT ACTION: Call Elizabeth's elected officials, starting with Sen. Al Franken.

Psychiatrist Recommends Elizabeth Ellis Have "Months" of "Maintenance" Forced Electroshock

MindFreedom Asks Everyone: Phone Sen. Al Franken and Other Officials

D.C. office: (202) 224-5641 St. Paul office: (651) 221-1016 

Ask Sen. Al Franken: Stop Elizabeth Ellis Forced ElectroshockWe Are All Elizabeth! Story of a Shock Resister.

Elizabeth is a retired teacher and school counselor, with a master's degree in counseling, who admits to having had serious mental and emotional problems over the years.
The day her dear 69-year-old sister died of cancer this past September, Elizabeth's daughter Sue Opp locked up Elizabeth straight from her sister's death bed to a psychiatric facility. Ms. Opp, who works in the mental health field, told MindFreedom she felt her mother's grief reaction was too unusual. Elizabeth reportedly was not a danger to self or others, but supposedly looked too strange, such as keeping her mouth open and eyes closed.

                                                                                               Elizabeth K. Ellis, 67    
While in the institution, Elizabeth admits she did lose weight and refuse some meals, but says it was not a dangerous amount. She was discharged on 5 January 2011, with the "provision" that she receive involuntary outpatient electroshock. On 27 January 2011, she refused.
By coincidence, the very next day after that "sit in" at her own home, a Food & Drug Administration panel voted on 28 January 2011 that the ECT device is "hazardous," and should for the first time in its more than 70 years of use in the USA be tested for safety and efficacy by the FDA.
So Elizabeth was right!
Because of the FDA panel, the US and all State governments should at least immediately freeze all funding for involuntary electroshock over the subjects' expressed wishes, a practice most American taxpayers don't know even they have been funding.
Instead, the court document Elizabeth received on 16 February stated that on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2011, Elizabeth's outpatient electroshock doctor - psychiatrist Nadeem Haider with a "shock shop" in nearby Fargo, North Dakota - told Elizabeth's case manager, Kirsten Wegenast, that "she be hospitalized, and that she remain in the hospital for several months and establish a consistent maintenance ECT schedule." 
Elizabeth personally faxed these documents to MindFreedom because she knew she was at risk of more forced shock. They are available for download via the Elizabeth Campaign Gateway: 
Perhaps because of the growing controversy, Dr. Haider also asked Ms. Wegenast - according to her report - that after Elizabeth's discharge, a clinic other than his own, preferably based in Minnesota, be found to do future outpatient electroshocks.

Photo of Robert and Elizabeth Ellis, who say "no" to her forced outpatient electroshock
In the Elizabeth Campaign Gateway  you can find:
  • A folder of court and agency documents you can download about Elizabeth's forced electroshock, including the court order to transport her to a psychiatric institution for saying "no" to forced electroshock.
  • An interview with Elizabeth on 12 Feb. on MindFreedom Free Web Radio.
  • How to join a Facebook Cause for Elizabeth. 
  • Learn how the day after Elizabeth and her husband Robert (pictured together above) refused to go to her outpatient electroshock... an FDA panel voted that the device is "hazardous," and should finally be tested for safety and efficacy for the first time in 70 years!
  • A blog entry by MindFreedom director David Oaks calls for the global mental health advocacy community to create a peaceful revolution like that in Egypt. 
  • For the latest info, check frequently at the Elizabeth Ellis Campaign Gateway


the following is a letter written by Mary Maddock, co-founder of MindFreedom Ireland and ECT Survivor, to her Senators protesting forced ECT.

Dear Senators,

I am an electroshock survivor and co-founder member of MindFreedom Ireland. I hope you will put an end to forced electroshock in Ireland. We as a nation know only too well what is like to be forced and battered.

This also is a women's issue and unfortunately, we find it difficult to have a voice and are often comdemned to remain silent even by those who mistakenly think they are being helpful! Two to three times more women than men receive electroshock worldwide.

This is our MindFreedom Ireland statement: MindFreedom Statement   ECT Causes Head Trauma
Some of our most active members are forced electroshock survivors (none of us gave informed consent). We have attended the Seanad to support this bill. We have campaigned vigorously against forced electroshock. We are part of a wider movement called MindFreedom International. One of our members called Elizabeth Ellis, who is a retired school teacher, is publicly forced treated as I write this letter.
Let Ireland lead the way and be one of the first countries to end forced electroshock!

Yours sincerely,

Mary Maddock, MindFreedom Ireland, Board Member MindFreedom International.

1 comment:

Duane Sherry said...


Thanks for posting.

I wrote both Senators and Congressman...
On my way to put a card in the mail for Elizabeth tonight.

In solidarity,

Duane Sherry, M.S.


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