Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Head To Head Maudsley Debate

Should we stop using electroconvulsive therapy?

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 30 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:k5233

Rapid Response:

Re: Should we stop using electroconvulsive therapy?

I enjoy the Yes and No articles in the BMJ. I thought this was below the usual standards. The Yes authors included a Electroshock survivor, who had side effects from ECT and appeared to failed to make a successful claim against her psychiatrist, although no reason was given for this, which leaves the reader with a lot of uncertainties about her claim. The No side had no patient input to balance the two articles.

Although anecdotes can be informative in debates, I thought this detracted from the argument for the Yes side, as was so clearly biased with this claim for brain damage. This would have been partly balanced if the NO side had patient anecdote. As a GP I have been told by a number of patients how beneficial ECT had been.

So more balance in for and against articles BMJ and ensure that patient story or anecdote is relevant to the argument

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 February 2019
Judith Neaves
burneside, cumbria