Grandfather forced to undergo ECT before ‘preventable’ death

By Aisha Dow, WA Today, 18 April 2018


In a desperate attempt to treat a crippling mental illness, Gerard Helliar submitted to hundreds of bouts of electroconvulsive therapy.

Now a Victorian coroner has called for the guidelines around electroconvulsive therapy to be reviewed, after ruling that the Melbourne grandfather died a preventable death.

There was no evidence that the involuntary electroconvulsive therapy Mr Helliar endured could have provided him with any relief, coroner Peter White found, and the therapy had therefore become largely experimental in nature.

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