Medical, judicial, and statutory regulation of ECT in the United States

W. J. Winslade, E. H. Liston, J. W. Ross, K. D. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The standards for ECT recommended by an APA task force report and those embodied in federal court orders and state statutes and regulations are compared. The authors conclude that there is serious boundary and role confusion owing to progressive intrusion of state authority into areas traditionally held to lie in the domain of medical judgment and clinical care. In spite of comprehensive safeguards promulgated by the psychiatric community, overregulation by legislatures and courts is commonplace, interposing law between physicians and patients and resulting in delays or denials of service while failing to resolve critical legal issues involving competence and consent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1349-1355
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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