"Electric Stimulation" discouraged by FDA advisory panel

The use of electrical stimulation devices to "treat" patients with developmental disorders should be banned. That's according to a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel.

The devices shock patients to keep them from extremely violent behaviors, behaviors that can threaten their own lives or the lives of others. But, some patients say experiencing the shocks is torture, and has left them with severe emotional scars.

The FDA hearing focused on a special needs school in Massachusetts, that was criticized in 2002 after a video showing a student being shocked dozens of times surfaced.

The FDA does not have to follow its advisory panels' recommendations, but usually does.

This is different from electroshock therapy, which can be used to help patients who are unconscious.

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