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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: There’s Still Time to Submit Comments in Support of the Food and Drug Administration’s Ban on Electric Shock Devices!

The comment period on the FDA’s proposal to ban electric shock devices used as behavioral “treatment” has been extended through Monday, July 25, 2016. As a reminder, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published proposed regulations that would ban these devices, which are used to deliver electric shocks as punishment for behaviors in both children and adults with disabilities. NCIL and other disability advocates have been fighting to end the use of these devices for decades. You can read more about this in our April Alert.

It is extremely important that disability advocates submit comments supporting this ban. We know that the Judge Rotenberg Center, the only institution in the country that still uses these devices, will have their supporters writing in to oppose this ban in full force. We must ensure that the FDA hears from people around the country who support their decision!

Comments are due on July 25, 2016, so please submit your comments as soon as possible! You can submit them online by visiting, entering the docket number FDA-2016-N-1111, and clicking on the “comment now” button. You can also mail your comments to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. If you are submitting comments that you would like to be held confidential, you must submit them by mail.


  1. Dan Johnson says:

    I urge the Food and Drug Administration to immediately and unequivocally ban the use of the GED and any other similar device dependent upon brutality to control the behavior of a person. The FDA should stop sanctioning the Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED) currently in use at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts has no ethical place in contemporary education and behavioral treatment.
    As a professional with particular expertise in advocacy and ethics in disability, but more importantly as a parent of five adopted children with developmental disabilities and/or psychological disorders I am opposed to the continued use of the unnecessary use of painful electric shocks as a “treatment” method. This form of torture is not used anywhere in the world as a form of treatment and should not be allowed in the United States. The voltage even exceeds what we currently tolerate in the training of domestic animals, so why would we use this on humans! It is barbaric.
    In addition, its effectiveness as a treatment is widely disputed in the professional Community. The electric shocks put out by this instrument and applied to our most vulnerable citizens is just not acceptable and the FDA should stop sanctioning such torture. The use of the Graduate Electronic Decelerator is torture, pure and simple.

  2. Dan Farnkoff says:

    What happened with this? The comments were overwhelmingly in favor of the ban. A half dozen mercenary lawyers and JRC execs opposed it. None of the victims of this torture spoke in favor of it. So what gives- has this horror finally been halted?

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