Patent US5304211A for Electroshock Backpack to Punish Autistic Patients

It is scary that this is even a modern patent. The patent US5304211A filed by the Behavior Research Institute in Providence, Rhode Island in 1991 is for a backpack that carries in essence an electric cattle prod. It’s forced onto autistic patients. If that patient “acts up” in any way, the researchers / doctors remotely press a button. The backpack then zaps that patient with painful electricity.

And this is seen as a “good thing”.

The Behavior Research Institute was notorious for having an autistic patient die in their care after being subjected to a “white noise” punishment. In 1994-1996 they changed their name to the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center and relocated to Canton, Massachusetts. I link to that info below. As of 2019, they are the only location IN THE ENTIRE US which uses electrical shocks to punish its autistic clients.

They even filed a patent on the backpack device they created. In essence it’s a torture unit, used specifically for punishment.

“An apparatus for administering electrical aversive stimulus is provided. The apparatus includes a remote transmitter, a receiver/stimulator, and an electrode.”

In the description part 2 it adds, “Aversive stimulation has also been used to train animals.” Lovely. And most places ban electro-shocking animals now, too.

Scarily, it says: ” the apparatus may be used to educate or train a patient by using a “behavior rehearsal” method of treatment. With this method, a patient who is wearing the apparatus and who has exhibited undesired behavior in the past is prompted into engaging in the undesired behavior or is vividly reminded of the undesired behavior. The apparatus is activated when the patient engages in or recalls the behavior, thereby administering aversive stimulus. ” – isn’t this the Clockwork Orange scenario?

Here’s my full article on this situation. We have to bring this to an end. The Canton location is the only place in the US still engaging in this “treatment”. Please please write your local congressperson and representative. If you’re in Massachusetts, we should pass a Massachusetts law against it. If you’re not in Massachusetts, please write your federal representatives to pressure the FDA into shutting this down. They had promised to do so by the end of 2019 and have not done so.

The image from the patent is part of a United States government patent filing and therefore is usable under fair use.

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