Mass. lawmakers consider ban on shock treatment
BOSTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers are considering bans on aversive therapy that would end electric shock treatment at the Canton-based Judge Rotenberg Center.
The privately run school that treats severely autistic children is believed to be the only school of its kind in the nation that uses skin shock treatments to control the behavior of some students.
Critics of the center say the shocks are inhumane and there are other ways to help patients with severe behavioral problems that cause them to hurt themselves or others.
This legislation prevents new patients from receiving shocks, but treatment could continue for patients already receiving it. Spanking, hitting, and pinching patients would also be banned.
Patients' parents oppose the ban, saying no other treatments have helped their children.
Earlier this year Gov. Deval Patrick's administration proposed similar regulations.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)