Thursday, June 28, 2012
Shock Ban Kept Out of Stater Budget (With Video)

A ban on the use of painful electric shocks as treatment for the disabled was not adopted as part of the state budget passed by the Legislature Thursday.

The amendment to ban aversive therapy including the shocks was included in the state Senate's version of the budget but did not make it through a conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers.

The Canton-based Judge Rotenberg Center is the only place in the country to use these shocks. Their use has drawn national attention since video of a former student's treatment was revealed earlier this year.

State Sen. Brian A. Joyce, who has pressed for a ban for years, said he was "incredibly disappointed once again."

"The pervasive influence of money from lawyers and lobbyists and public relations specialists trumps our moral obligation to protect innocent disabled children at the Judge Rotenberg Center," he told FOX Undercover.

But Louisa Goldberg, the mother of a Judge Rotenberg Center client says Joyce doesn't understand children like hers and how effective the treatment is.

"If this treatment were banned in Massachusetts my son would go back to taking lots of drugs and falling asleep during the day, sitting around drooling, maybe being restrained for a long time on the floor. He would injure many people. He has sent many people to the hospital in the past. I would hate to see these children regress," said Goldberg.

The administration of Gov. Deval Patrick has already passed new regulations that ban these shocks for new students enrolled since last fall, a measure the Rotenberg Center has said in the past that it plans to fight in court.