Bailiff: All rise, the honorable Judge James Means presiding over the case of Brown vs. Rowe. You may be seated.
Judge: This is the case of a one Darius Brown versus Jason Rowe in a matter dealing with the harmful effects of Electrocovulusive Therapy. Councilmen, your opening statements please.
Prosecutor: Electroconvulsive Therapy, also known as ECT, is an appalling, not to mention, harmful practice used in mental treatment. This practice is not safe and it does not improve the patients condition. My client, having experienced these treatments will testify against this unethical practice.
Brandie: Your Honor and ladies and gentlemen of the jury. My client Psychiatrist Rowe is being put on trial for his practices of ECT. ECT has been incorporated for many years. It is one of the safest medical procedures involving regular anesthesia and its effectiveness has been proven beyond doubt.
Judge: Prosecution, you may call your witness.
Prosecutor: Your Honor, I call Darius Brown to the stand.
Judge: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god?
Darius: I do.
Prosecutor: Isnt it true that you had to undergo treatments of ECT?
Darius: Yes and it was bad. They shocked me and I started shaking.
Prosecutor: Were there any adverse effects after you received ECT?
Darius: Yes, its brain damaging. I often have trouble remembering and sometimes I get headaches.
Prosecutor: So what youre saying is, that ECT is harmful?
Brandie: Objection, Prosecutor is leading the witness!
Judge: Sustained, the jury will disregard Mr. Browns last statement.
Prosecutor: Did ECT improve your medical condition?
Darius: Yes, but only to a small extent and only after altering my brain.
Prosecutor: Thank you, Sir.
Judge: Your witness, Ms. Cohen.
Brandie: Mr. Brown, didnt you just testify that your condition was improved?
Brandie: So how can you argue that it is not effective? As with any medication or surgical procedure, sure ECT has adverse effects. What is your major complaint?
Darius: I cant rememberoh, yes its memory disturbance.
Brandie: So everything is fine? You can breathe, comprehend, and function normally. Perhaps even better than before your treatments. The only problem is a little memory complications? Nothing major right?
Darius: I guess you could say that.
Brandie: No further questions, your Honor.
Judge: You may step down. The defense may call its witness.
Brandie: Your Honor, I call Dr. Rowe to the stand.
Judge: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god?
Travis: I do.
Brandie: Dr. Rowe, arent you a licensed Psychiatrist?
Travis: Yes, Ive been practicing for 19 years.
Brandie: Why dont you tell us what exactly ECT is.
Travis: ECT, electroconvulsive therapy is the appliance of electrical current to a patients brain for only one-half to two seconds, inducing a slight seizure. ECT is used to treat some disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Brandie: What are some of the side effects that come with ECT?
Travis: Most of the adverse effects come from the seizure or modifying drugs to control the convulsions. Some patients have experienced hypo tension or hypertension, trachyarrhythmias, bradyarrhythmias, or minor fractures. Some patients reported memory complications, confusion or headaches after treatments. Among these memory complications was the major problem.
Brandie: How effective is ECT?
Travis: One study showed that 84 percent of 58 patients improved after receiving ECT compared to standard antidepressants.Overall 78 to 85 percent responded to ECT. It is as effective as antidepressants and works faster and elicits a response in areas where other treatments did not. 78 percent of patients felt that they had improved after ECT. 80 percent would not be hesitant to do it again.
Brandie: It sounds pretty safe and effective to me. Thank you, Dr. Rowe.
Judge: The prosecution may cross-examine.
Prosecutor: Mr.Rowe, you testified about all those side effects. How can you call that safe?
Travis: Those adverse effects are not life threatening. Some of those like hypertension and headaches, we see everyday. In fact these effects can be restrained with modifications. Now medicines are being used to reduce effects like atropine to reduce bradyarrhythmias, and other medications to control convulsions. Also, one-sided electrode treatment on the less dominant side of the brain reduces the amount of tissue being exposed and less memory is impaired.
Prosecutor: Isnt it true that some deaths have occurred using this treatment?
Travis: Like any other surgical procedure, ECT is has lost some patients. But unlike the other surgeries, from 1947 to 1952 only 62 deaths occurred. This proves ECT to be one of the safest of all medical procedures involving regular anesthesia.
Prosecutor: 62 is a pretty high number for deaths, dont you think.
Travis: Any death is one too many, but 62 is not as high in comparison to other surgical deaths.
Prosecutor: No further questions.
Judge: Closing arguments please.
Prosecution: The witnesses both testified of the undesirable effects of ECT. Dr. Rowe even reported of 62 deaths. And what about the brain damages? Ladies and gentlemen it is obvious that ECT is not safe. Thank you.
Brandie: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we all know that everything has side effects. A simple medicine such as Tylenol can make you drowsy so how can the prosecution expect such a complex treatment not to? And besides these effects today, are being curbed. The death rate that the prosecution mentioned is comparably low. Look at how many people die from heart surgery, yet no one is claiming that this much needed procedure is unsafe. And lets not forget the fact that ECT is highly effective, if not would the Darius be able to testify today? He himself testified that he had improved and his major complaint was memory disturbance. That possibly comes with age anyway. If ECT can cure some of these disorders I would gladly accept it, as so many other patients have. Ladies and gentlemen you can obviously see that ECT is safe. Thank you for your time.
Judge: We will pause for a thirty-minute recess while the jury reaches its verdict.
Judge: The jury has reached a verdict. They find the defendant, Dr. Rowe, not guilty and Electroconvulsive Therapy safe. Court is adjourned.