FDA proposes ban on electrical shock devices for behavior modification

The FDA is concerned that electrical stimulation devices are being used for harm. The devices can be used in behavior modification programs designed to curb self-injurious or aggressive behavior. ESDs administer electrical shocks via electrodes attached to the skin an attempt to condition individuals to stop engaging in the undesirable behavior. The FDA said that the devices aren't known to be commonly used--citing the only U.S. facility using these devices, the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) in Canton, MA. The agency said that between 45 to 50 individuals at that facility are being exposed to that device. "Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the individuals who are exposed to these devices," said Dr. William Maisel, acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement.  "These devices are dangerous and a risk to public health--and we believe they should not be used." The proposed rule is subject to public comment for 30 days. More

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