Don't deny them this treatment
Sir - Your news report under the heading, 'Mentally ill still forced to endure shock treatment,' (Sunday Independent, 15 November), dealt with whether it should be possible for a person with impaired mental capacity to receive ECT without consent.
Most mental health care is entirely voluntary - 89pc in 2013. Similarly with ECT, 85.5pc of treatments in 2013 were administered with the patient's consent.
But for those who, even with decision-making support, lack mental capacity to decide about ECT, the current position is that a person must first be detained under the Mental Health Act 2001 - a three-step process requiring that someone, such as a family member, apply for involuntary admission; a doctor (such as a GP) examine the patient and agree that it is necessary; and, finally, a consultant psychiatrist examine the person and also agree that it is necessary.