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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 199-201

Electroconvulsive Therapy without General Anesthesia and the Human Rights of Mental Health Patients: Some Reflections on a Recent Situation in Chile

1 Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
2 Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
3 Department of Psychiatry, Lausanne University Hospital and Lausanne University, Lausanne, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Alvaro Barrera
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, Warneford Lane, Oxford
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_36_22

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The use of unmodified electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), i.e., ECT without general anesthesia, vis-a-vis human rights of mental health patients and standards of care, is discussed. An overview of unmodified ECT is provided, followed by an account of recent events in Chile, where the Minister of Health referred the administration of unmodified ECT to the judicial system. The article concludes with a proposal to launch a voluntary system of accreditation, by which countries willing to have their mental health services accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) would commit themselves to give unrestricted, unannounced, and at short-notice access to independently appointed the WHO representatives to their community and inpatient mental health facilities.

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