MFI Ray Alert: Another Forced Shock 1/28/09 – Protest
MindFreedom International – 27 January 2009
Win Human Rights in Mental Health – Please Forward
Another involuntary outpatient “maintenance”
electroshock for Ray Sandford is scheduled
for tomorrow, 28 January 2009.
How you may easily and peacefully protest
from wherever you are.
Unless there is a miracle, it is confirmed that Ray Sandford is
having another involuntary electroshock tomorrow, Wednesday, 28
January 2009, just north of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, all funded
by taxpayer dollars.
After more than three dozen forced electroshocks, Ray knows the drill.
Tonight, staff will prepare by removing all of Ray’s food from his
mini-fridge in his basement room in a small assisted living home
called “Victory House” in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. This is
because Ray is not supposed to eat for a number of hours before
anesthesia is administered.
Early tomorrow morning Ray will be woken up extra early, and an
escort will bring Ray the 15 miles north on streets near the
Mississippi River to Mercy Hospital, in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.
Ray’s mental health workers always manages to find an escort for
Ray’s forced electroshocks or psychiatrist visits.
On the other hand, a few days ago Ray said he had to miss a dental
appointment that was supposed to help with his severe teeth problems,
because no attendant could be found that day.
Since Ray’s campaign started, an attendant is required to accompany
Ray any time he leaves his home. MindFreedom volunteers have been
banned from visiting. One such visitor, a disability advocate, even
had her employment threatened after Ray’s “helpers” filed a complaint
with her employer for bringing Ray to a Minnesota center for
independent living for people with disabilities.
Ray says the waiting room of his electroshock doctor, Bernard M.
Coelho, MD, at Mercy Hospital is often full with about 10 patients
who Ray believes are also scheduled for electroshock. Giving multiple
electroshocks on the same morning is a common practice, sometimes
called a “Shock Mill,” and can be very lucrative. Mercy Hospital is
owned by Allina Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota.
Ray will lay in a bed and feel an injection as anesthesia and a
muscle paralyzer are administered to suppress muscle writhing. Ray
says Dr. Coelho will then run electricity through Ray’s brain,
inducing a convulsion.
Ray calls the MindFreedom office almost every day, including just
before and just after his forced electroshocks. He says forced shock
is always scary, that it’s harming his memory and ability to
concentrate more and more.
Ray is asking us all to peacefully protest his forced electroshock.
The nightmare of involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes
of the subject has happened regularly since the very first
electroshock in Italy in 1937. But now the atrocity of forced
electroshock has climbed over the institutional walls, and is out in
our towns and cities, in our neighborhoods and homes.
Do not let this become “normal.”
Do not wait to see your neighbor escorted out into some early winter
morning for this.
Do not wait for that to be you.
MindFreedom reminds everyone that Ray’s campaign is nonviolent. Ray
values his religious principles, and MindFreedom has strict
If you communicate with any potential opponent, please be strong but
civil. Anything else can be used against Ray.
Here are a few easy ways you may protest Ray’s electroshock from
wherever you are:
Please forward this alert far and wide.
*** ACTION *** ACTION *** ACTION ***
1) Protest to Richard Pettingill, Chief executive officer (CEO) of
Allina Hospital and Clinics:
Ask that your civil verbal protest be placed in Ray Sandford’s
medical record using their online web form:
Sample message (your own words are best):
“Dear Mr. Richard Pettingill:
“I request that my message be placed in the permanent medical record
of your patient Ray Sandford, who states that he is receiving ongoing
involuntary electroshock at Mercy Hospital administered by Allina
psychiatrist Bernard M Coelho, MD.
“While you cannot violate the privacy of a patient, I ask that you
respond in general about your policy of allowing involuntary
electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject.
“Whether or not you feel this is legal, it is unethical, immoral and
traumatic to everyone in mental health care.
“The reason(s) I protest this forced electroshock are:
“My name and contact information: _______”
You may also try to phone Mr. Richard Pettingill’s office at
612-262-0601 or 612-262-5000.
You may try to leave a phone message for Dr. Coelho at the above
numbers, or at Mercy at 763-236-6000, but the phone number listed for
him on the Allina web site is now disconnected, even though he still
works there. If you are disconnected, call back.
2) Bishop Mark Hanson of the Lutheran Church
While the Lutheran Church is not directly in charge of Ray’s
electroshock, they are supposed to help “guard” Ray, they are
supposed to care deeply about social justice, yet they are not
supporting Ray’s campaign to end his forced electroshock.
The six Minnesota Synods of the “Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America” [ELCA] — which is the largest Lutheran denomination in the
USA — own Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota [LSSMN], which is
Ray’s court-appointed general guardian.
ELCA and LSSMN have refused to speak out for Ray.
MindFreedom has been in touch with the office of Bishop Mark Hanson,
who leads ELCA. Bishop Hanson asked Ruth Reko, ELCA’s Director of
Social Ministry Department, to respond to MFI. Today, Ms. Reko told
MindFreedom, “Supervision is not a concept we enter into with
affiliates like LSSMN or our 299 other social service agency
Please ask Bishop Mark Hanson, to encourage ELCA, its Synods and its
agencies to engage in productive dialogue on human rights and mental
health, especially involuntary electroshock.
Please e-mail to Bishop Mark Hanson here:
Sample message (your own words are best):
“Dear Bishop Hanson:
“Please engage in dialogue about human rights and mental health. I am
not saying ELCA is directly in charge of anyone’s forced
electroshock, but ELCA could take a stand against it. In the name of
social justice, ELCA ought to have more oversight over its affiliated
social service agencies that receive taxpayer funds to guard clients.
“Your name and contact info: ___________”
You may also try phoning Bishop Hanson or Ms. Ruth Reko by calling
(773) 380-2700, wait for an attendant.
3) Engage your local religious organizations in dialogue on human
rights and mental health
Ray has given us all an opportunity to encourage our local faith-
based communities to address the justice issues involved in mental
health care today.
Ask that your local church, synagogue, mosque, etc. find a way to
raise issues about human rights and mental health.
Those in the USA may also seek to engage in dialogue with
participants and leaders in your local ELCA church, which you may
easily locate here:
Please act today!
Ray’s scheduled electroshocks for this Winter and Spring are below.
Unless there’s a miracle.
And maybe you — and all of us — are Ray’s miracle.
* 18 February 2009
* 4 March 2009
* 25 March 2009
* 8 April 2009
* 29 April 2009
* 13 May 2009
* 3 June 2009
* 17 June 2009
Minnesota Nonviolent Protests for Ray
Several individuals and groups in Minnesota have told MindFreedom
they would like to help support and attend peaceful protests on
behalf of Ray in Minnesota.
Several MindFreedom members have even said they are willing to travel
from out of state and from out of the country to participate in
MindFreedom will broadcast more information as it is received.
How to do and learn more on the Ray Campaign
For links to latest news, Ray Campaign blog, to hear the NPR radio
story on Ray, and read Frequently Asked Questions about the “No More
Shock For Ray Campaign” go here:
To further participate in the MindFreedom campaign to support Ray,
current MindFreedom members are invited to get on the very busy
MindFreedom “zapback” e-mail list about electroshock, here:
Join, donate or renew early now!
Independence, mutual support and strength in numbers are why
MindFreedom is one of the few groups in the world to break the
silence about existence of involuntary electroshock for over two
This people power is why Ray had somewhere to turn, when he asked his
local library to find human rights organizations!
Celebrating its 23rd anniversary in 2009, MindFreedom International
is a 100 percent independent nonprofit united to win activist
campaigns for human rights and alternatives in mental health.
Open to the public, most members identify themselves as individuals
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