Thursday, June 7, 2012

Put a stop to "aversive therapy," Massachusetts

The Guardian reports:

The UN's special rapporteur on torture has made a formal approach to the US government over a special-needs school near Boston that inflicts electric shocks on autistic children as a form of behavioural control.

Juan Mendez has told the Guardian that he has opened discussions with the US mission to the UN in Geneva as a first step towards investigating the school.

The rapporteur plans to contact the US state department and has the option of reporting the matter to the UN human rights council.

Mendez said he was "very concerned" about the use of electric shocks, which are inflicted on autistic children through pads applied to their skin.

"The use of electricity on anyone's body raises the question of whether this is therapeutic or whether it inflicts pain and suffering tantamount to torture in violation of international law," he added....

The report does note: "As public anger builds, there are mounting political moves to restrict the school's activities. A bill that would ban aversive therapy has already passed the Massachusetts state senate and is now being considered by the house."

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