Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Guarded victory for Ray and MindFreedom

MindFreedom News - 15 April 2009
Nonviolent Revolution in Mental Health - please forward

   Ray Sandford Declares "Guarded Victory" for MindFreedom Ray Campaign

   Because of Public Pressure, Ray's Psychiatrist May Quit Case

The bad news is that this morning, 15 April 2009, Ray Sandford of
Minnesota had another involuntary, outpatient electroshock, also
known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

The good news is today's forced electroshock could be Ray's last.


Ray Sandford called the MindFreedom office this afternoon to say that
because of growing public pressure, Ray's main psychiatrist Dean K.
Knudson plans to quit as Ray's psychiatrist. Dr. Knudson has been
ordering the forced electroshocks.

If Ray is quickly assigned a new psychiatrist more sensitive to Ray's
human rights and need for humane alternatives, then Ray could be free
of his ongoing forced electroshocks. Ray has had more than 40.

Dr. Knudson had scheduled Ray's next forced shock for 30 days from
today. The court order allowing Ray's forced electroshock does not
mandate the psychiatrist to prescribe it.

Ray said that his general guardian, Tonya Wilhelm of Lutheran Social
Service, told Ray in a phone call today that she had talked to Dr.
Knudson personally. According to her, Dr. Knudson's insurance company
expressed concern to him about the enormous grassroots campaign that
MindFreedom is building to stop Ray's forced electroshocks.


"Tonya told me that because of all the controversy, Dr. Knudson's
insurance company may force him to stop being my psychiatrist," said
Ray. "Absolutely this is a guarded victory. I want to be sure to
thank people for their diligence, and for everything they're doing to
support me."

David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International commented,
"Today is USA Tax Day. If Ray's supporters keep it up, it looks like
taxpayers may get a break, and not waste their money torturing Ray
any more."

The Ray Campaign will continue, said Oaks. "We need to stay vigilant
about Ray's rights, make sure Dr. Knudson quits, and help Ray find a
better lead mental health professional pronto."

The Ray Campaign also raises a question: How many other Ray's are there?

Said Oaks, "It is proven beyond a doubt that there are others
throughout the USA and internationally who are getting electroshock
over their clearly expressed wishes. Every USA state and every nation
needs a 'Ray Law' to stop this nightmare forever."




Forward this alert to appropriate places on and off Internet!


For background including Ray Frequently Asked Questions, Ray's Web of
Links, YouTube video of Ray and his mom, National Public Radio
coverage, how to participate in campaign, and more, see:


MindFreedom International unites to take action for a nonviolent
revolution in the mental health system.

Join/donate to MindFreedom International today:


Gianna said...

I'll post on this when we actually know something...what's this "Doctor MAY quit stuff??"

I'm very hopeful this will lead to something but it felt weird to me to announce it like this...

don't know?? what do you think?

Marian said...

Gianna: I chose to post it, because sometimes people run out of steam, when they don't see their actions lead anywhere. But you're right, we don't know anything for sure yet. Let's just hope, this Knudson-guy really quits!

Anonymous said...

The doctor's insurance company is threatening not to cover him if he doesn't quit is what it looks like. And I doubt many doctors would be willing to practice without malpractice coverage these days. This may scare off other psychiatrists from doing the same to Mr. Sandford if it gets out there enough, which in my personal opinion would be a very good thing.

It does not get him out of that group home nor away from that guardian, but I hope those problems can also be addressed in time. I keep wondering if Mr. Sandford agreed if Adult Services could not be of great assistance to him in regards to the group home's neglect of his teeth and restrictions on basic freedoms, Adult Services have about as much power as the police and guardians can't fight them, nor could the group home. As a legally incapacitated adult, (and I am only stating his "legal" status"), Mr. Sandford would fall under Adult Services Protection in any state of the U.S.

Gianna said...

see it continues...I guess I've just become miserably pessimistic about the "mental health" system...and unfortunately rightly so.


On Friday, 1 May 2009:

Protest to Be Held in Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda to
Stop Forced Electroshock of Minnesota Resident.

MindFreedom International announced that it will peacefully protest
the ongoing forced electroshock of Ray Sandford, a 55-year-old
resident of Columbia Heights, Minnesota. The protest will take place
inside the Rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol building in St.
Paul, Minnesota on Friday, 1 May 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


A six-month campaign to stop Sandford's electroshocks has gained
international attention. Sandford has been shocked more than 40 times
on an outpatient basis under a court order even though he and his
family have clearly stated his desire not to be shocked. Sandford
lives in a residential group home and is under the general
guardianship of Lutheran Social Services.

"It's amazing that a man who is supposedly being protected by
Minnesota court-appointed guardians and who has been represented in
court hearings by a Minnesota public defender is suffering this kind
of human rights violation," said Al Galves, PhD, a member of the
MindFreedom board of directors.

Friday's protest will feature a number of speakers including:

** David Oaks, Executive Director of MindFreedom from Oregon;

** Al Galves, a retired psychologist from New Mexico;

** Louisa Bouta, a long-time activist for psychiatric rights in

** David Culver, a disability advocate; and

** Daryl Trones, a mental health advocate.

A public speak-out will also be held.

Galves said that electroshock -- also known as electroconvulsive
therapy or ECT -- subjects the patient to as much as 600 volts of
electricity for between one-half and four seconds. "It disables the
brain," Galves said.

MindFreedom International is an independent nonprofit coalition of
psychiatric survivors and others who advocate for the increased
availability of safe, humane and effective care for people who are
experiencing psychiatric emergencies and who oppose involuntary
treatment. MindFreedom can be contacted at

For more info on the Ray Campaign see:

- end -


Ray Sandford's psychiatrist, Dr. Dean K. Knudson, has announced he
intends to quit as Ray's psychiatrist because of public pressure. But
Dr. Knudson has still not been replaced, and Ray's next forced
electroshock is still scheduled for mid-May.

You can peacefully increase that public pressure now!

Please forward this news release to all appropriate places on and off
Internet, especially interested media, individuals and groups in

Marian said...

Miserably pessimistic - between us (haha): I've been miserably pessimistic from the moment, I saw how huge this is That it isn't only about monetary profit, or only about social control, but about both, and about a whole lot of other stuff - that reaches far beyond the "mh" system's field - too.

Sometimes I wonder, why I keep trying at all. That's when I leave comments like the one on your Earth-Day-post. I think, Derrick Jensen is right: we're going to win. But I don't think, it will be because we will overcome the powers, that fight (human) nature. It will be because nature itself will overcome humanity.

Those who fight nature don't have a clue what they're up against. No one fights "God" and wins. And instead of becoming aware, the majority of them becomes more and more arrogant.