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

FDA to Finalize Ban on Electrical Shock Devices

Back in 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published proposed regulations that would ban the electrical stimulation devices used to shock disabled people at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC). Despite ongoing advocacy from the disability community, in these more than two years the regulation has not been finalized.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivinggoWe recently learned that in mid-October, when the FDA announced their priorities associated with the federal government’s Unified Agenda, they announced their intent to finally finalize the ban. The announcement reads: “We’re also planning to issue a final ban on electrical stimulation devices used for self-injurious and aggressive behaviors. We believe these products present an unreasonable and substantial risk to public health that cannot be corrected or eliminated through changes to the labeling.” This is fantastic news! But, it is by no means a done deal. We must keep the pressure on the FDA until the final rule has been released.

And, even once the rule is finalized, we must remember that our disabled siblings who are being tortured at the JRC will still be stuck in the same institution with the same people who were using these shocks to “treat” them. To that end, we must make sure this next Congress passes the Disability Integration Act (DIA) into law, so all people with disabilities have the right to live in our own communities.

Needless to say, this commitment wouldn’t have happened without the relentless pressure from advocates around the country. Thank you for your efforts, and keep the pressure on the FDA to #StopTheShock!

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