A photo showing Dr. Nahas inside the psychiatric ward at AUBMC. (The Daily Star/ Hasan Shaaban)
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Set in a psychiatric ward, the 1962 Ken Kesey novel, later turned into a film starring Jack Nicholson, is well-known for depicting the abuse of rebellious patients with ECT and other treatments.All patients are medically cleared before undergoing ECT.ECT is not a first-line treatment for ordinary depression either, she said, but the hospital may use it with depressed patients who are suicidal or delusional.A study comparing the treatment of foreign domestic workers (FDW) and Lebanese admitted to De La Croix hospital from October 2007 to October 2012 found that 71 percent of FDW were diagnosed with psychotic disorders, compared to 38 percent of the Lebanese control group.As well, 51 percent of maids underwent ECT, compared to 17 percent of the Lebanese patients.Nahas denied that ECT would make patients more unresponsive to medication, noting that those who receive ECT have typically failed other treatments, meaning their cases were difficult to treat in the first place.Both Nahas and Azar said their respective hospitals require the consent of the patient – or if the patient is unfit to make a decision, the consent of their family- to perform ECT.
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