Teen Shocked 31 Times: Lively Calls Out Gov. Baker for Approving Torture of Disabled Children

By Dr. Scott Lively – Governor’s Candidate

SOMETHING ‘ROTEN’ at Rotenberg Center IN CANTON, Mass.

Baker Administration Approves Torture of Disabled Children

Video Shown at Trial: Teen Being Shocked 31 Times – Over 2 Hours!

Warning: Video linked in this article is extremely disturbing

Dr. Scott Lively Implores Governor Baker and HHS Commissioner Marylou Sudders to Appeal the Recent Bristol County Court Decision Allowing the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton to “Treat” Children with Powerful Electric Shocks the United Nations Defines as Torture.

Warning: Video linked in this article is extremely disturbing

So far, this issue has been championed mostly by people and media on the political left, but as a strong full-spectrum conservative Republican, I argue this should concern all Bay-Staters regardless of their political leanings.

As a human rights lawyer and pastoral caregiver for the mentally ill I was deeply disturbed to learn recently that Massachusetts is home to an extremely controversial medical treatment facility for children: the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, MA.  It is the only facility in the nation that uses very powerful electric shocks as part of a treatment plan to change undesired behavior in children: two-second-long shocks so powerful that they leave marks on the skin and cause children to scream in terror and agony.

To be sure, the JRC argues forcefully that torture of children is a lesser evil than the harm severely disturbed children inflict on themselves, but the United Nations has investigated their defense and declared JRC’s shock therapy to be torture.  I strongly agree with the United Nations on this.  There are other ways besides the false choice of torture or drug-induced catatonia to treat extreme self-destructive behavior.

Why, except for the arrogance of our medical “elites” and their political allies (as seen in the Justina Pelletier case), is Massachusetts the only state to decide torture is the best solution?

Many medical professionals and patient advocacy groups are taking action: 231 organizations signed a petition to the FDA to ban JRC’s shock, nearly 300,000 people signed a petition to the FDA to ban their shock,  and in 2011 under the previous state administration, the Department of Developmental Services [DDS] passed a state regulation to ban shock and other torturous actions like food deprivation and slapping of clients, etc. This CNN report shows a reporter shocking herself while this one lets you see the fear the disabled have at JRC due to the shocks.

Commendably, a few years ago the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office under Governor Deval Patrick filed suit to stop the use of electric shock and other tortures by attempting to regain state control over the JRC, but Judge Katherine Field of Bristol County Family and Probate Court recently ruled in favor of the Rotenberg Center, which will allow its abusive practices to continue.

Alarmingly, Governor Baker’s Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders stated in this Boston TV5 report that she approves of the use of torture at JRC.

The last hope of stopping the torture of children in Massachusetts is to convince Governor Baker to appeal Judge Field’s unfortunate ruling.  I issue this open appeal to him today in the hope that the public and the media will bring pressure to bear on Mr. Baker to reverse course on his administration’s support for torture of children.

The deadline for filing an appeal is July 18th, so the Governor must act now!

Should this letter fail to achieve that result, I promise to end this inhumane and frankly barbaric practice in Massachusetts if elected Governor.


Dr. Scott Lively






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