Court Authorizes Torture of People with Disabilities 

July 7, 2021
Court Authorizes Torture of People with Disabilities 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tina Pinedo
202.408.9514 x119
[email protected] 

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the use of electrical stimulation devices (ESDs). The only facility in the U.S. using these devices on people with disabilities who exhibit self-injurious or aggressive behavior is at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts. In response, the National Disability Rights Network Executive Director Curt Decker issued the following statement: 

“All people deserve the right to be free from abuse and neglect. Because of the court’s decision, people with disabilities at JRC are being subjected to severe pain and trauma. For years, we’ve opposed the use of these ESDs and have called for their end at the state and federal level.  

“We must continue to advocate for more humane ways to treat self-injurious or aggressive behavior. There are safer and more effective alternatives to ESDs such as positive behavioral supports, modification, and interventions. 

“The National Disability Rights Network is appalled with the court’s ruling. Torture is not treatment. The fight to end this abuse is not over.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.