Ray gets one week reprieve from ECT

MindFreedom International – 16 November 2008
Ray Human Rights Alert #3: Please Forward

Now see a photo of Ray here

Media ought to ask, “What is Minnesota Governor Pawlenty’s position on Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?”

Ray gets a one week reprieve.

First the good news.

Within days of MindFreedom launching its campaign on 7 November 2008 to stop the weekly involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford, his doctor has decided to “skip a Wednesday.”

Ray says that this coming Wednesday, 19 November 2008, for the first time in months, Ray will not be escorted against his will, under court order, from his Minnesota home out in the community to his 34th involuntary outpatient electroshock.

So there’s a reprieve for Ray.

For one week.

The bad news is that Ray’s doctor said Ray’s forced outpatient electroshocks will resume on Wednesday, 26 November 2008, the day before the USA holiday of Thanksgiving.

Ray said his involuntary shock will then continue every other week.

We don’t know if the one-week reprieve is because of the MindFreedom campaign, but we know MindFreedom News readers are having an impact.

Since the MindFreedom first alert went out nine days ago, on 7 November 2008:

*** Many people from all over the world have e-mailed and phoned
the offices of the Governor of Minnesota, along with social service
agencies, media, and the hospital where Ray receives his electroshock
against his expressed wishes.

*** For the first time, thousands of people are now aware of the
existence of IOE — Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock.

*** A few national and local media are now actively investigating.

*** Several advocacy agencies and human rights organizations are
expressing concern and getting involved.

*** Several volunteer attorneys are now in touch to provide

*** Volunteers are visiting Ray and sending him their support,
and Ray tells us he is grateful. One volunteer took the photo of Ray
shown on the web version of this alert:


*** MindFreedom’s “Zapback” e-mail list is coordinating the

*** A disability professor and her class of students have called
up Ray and are taking on his campaign as a project.

*** And more.

Thank you, everyone.

Keep up the pressure and the support!


First, keep phoning and e-mailing, especially if you have not so far. Show there is national and international concern!

Here are the links to the original two MindFreedom alerts, which have information about how to e-mail and phone the Governor of Minnesota, and how to write or visit Ray:

7 Nov: Alert #1

12 Nov: Alert #2 – Governor Phone-In Campaign

16 Nov: Alert #3 – Link to this alert with photo of Ray


Second, help MindFreedom answer the main mystery.

Despite all this public interest the question remains, “What is Governor Pawlenty’s position on Minnesota laws allowing involuntary outpatient electroshock?”

Is this Governor, who campaigns for “limited government,” for such laws or against them?

Unfortunately, the Governor’s office has not responded to any of the many e-mails or phone calls requesting his policy position. The Governor’s office is immediately forwarding citizen inquiries to a
voice mail, and then not replying to the voice mail.

We need media to ask the Governor for us. Please forward this alert to all media, small and large, from newspapers to bloggers.

Media can direct questions to:

Brian McClung
Director of Communications for Minnesota’s Governor
phone: (651) 296-0001.

Media ought to ask, “What is Governor Pawlenty’s position on
Minnesota laws allowing involuntary outpatient electroshock?”

Sometimes the Governor’s office is re-directing calls to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. At first that sounds good. But this office says it is only focused on determining whether narrow discrimination complaints are legally valid. A spokesperson said this
department makes no statements about policy.

This Minnesota agency said they are planning a major one-day human rights conference and forum on 5 December. One barrier is the “forum” costs $200.

For information on this Minn. Dept. of Human Rights, and their “forum,” click here.

You can also keep up with some of the latest developments about the Ray Campaign on the MindFreedom blog by MindFreedom director David Oaks, here.

Disclaimer: Because the State of Minnesota won’t reply, portions of these alerts are based on Ray’s personal statements. By Ray’s own admission, he now has severe memory problems. Therefore, journalists may want to find a second source to confirm accuracy.

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