Health ministry: No electroshock to Net addicts
July 14, 2009

Psychiatrist Yang Yongxin

Psychiatrist Yang Yongxin

China’s Ministry of Health demanded on Monday that the clinical electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) given to net addicts be stopped due to its unconfirmed safety.

Yang Yongxin, a doctor from east Shangdong Province who invented the ECT to cure net addicts at his clinic, argued recently that the slightly painful ECT using a current of between 1 and 5 milliamperes wouldn’t harm net addicts, quoted by a report of the Beijing News.

The ministry said that it invited experts to study and verify the ECT method and experts all agreed that the safety and efficacy of ECT for net addiction is now uncertain and the use of ECT at clinics is not suitable.

More than 3,000 youths have been tricked or forced to take a four-month treatment program run by Dr. Yang Yongxin at his controversial internet addiction clinic. Although some patients praised his unique treatment, other patients consider the electrically induced treatment as unbearable and inhumane. Some even think electroshock therapy given to youngsters violates the law of protection of minors.

Moreover, an investigation by the Beijing Times revealed that the ECT current used at Yang’s clinic was at least 10 milliamperes.