A Night of Shock Horror
We’ve written previously about the incredible story of a former patient being able to get the staff at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) to apply electrical shock to two of its current patients. Any safeguards the Center had in place to prevent such a tragedy apparently were not operating that night. We also noted in the comments how the Center destroyed videotape evidence relating to an investigation of the incident, against the direction of the investigator.
A few days ago, The Boston Globe detailed one of the incidents that night in its article, Parent details toll taken by shocks at group home. One of the patients is still there, the other has been moved to another facility.
The details are heart-breaking:
But after that, the staff tied Dumas’s son to a board, restraining all four limbs. The teenager, resigned to his fate, said, “Let them know I’m being compliant.”
During the next hour, he received dozens of rapid-fire shocks to his abdomen and limbs, which in fact violated his treatment plan. At one point, he complained, “Mister, I can’t breathe.”
On tape, the staff recounted the reasons for different shocks, including swearing, verbal threats, and noncompliance. Of the two power levels of shock treatments used by the school, Dumas’s son received the most powerful each time, school officials have said.
Shift supervisor Michael Thompson, on the job for two months, left the room at one point, saying he wanted to “either cry or throw up,” the report said.
The father of this child tried to “keep perspective” on the incident:
The father [… blamed] poor weekend staffing for what transpired that night. He said the home had many immigrants who had difficulty giving even simple directions in English.
“On the weekends, they have a lot of people who don’t speak good English and are fearful of losing their jobs,” Dumas said.
Ahh, well, there you go. Can’t afford legitimate health care workers who speak the language? Get whoever you can, give them a few days of training, and just trust nothing will go wrong.
Grohol, J. (2008). A Night of Shock Horror. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 30, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/01/23/a-night-of-shock-horror/