Is this appellate court decision as horrible as it sounds?

From Harper’s Weekly Review:

A U.S. court of appeals rejected an effort by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban devices that administer electrical shocks to people with developmental disabilities, a tool that has been used to electrocute people for actions like flapping their hands, standing up, and screaming in pain while being shocked.

Whenever I see something like this, I work hard not to believe this is as horrible as it reads.

Here’s the FDA on this ban.

Here’s a Reuters article on the DC Circuit Court decision.

Here are the paragraphs which stop me in my tracks:

In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that the ban was a regulation of the practice of medicine, which is beyond the FDA’s authority. The ruling was a victory for the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center and a group of parents and guardians of its students, which had challenged the regulation.

The school, which is represented by Michael Flammia of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, said in a statement that it was pleased with the ruling, which would allow it to continue using the shock treatment. [My bolding]

“With the treatment, these residents can continue to participate in enriching experiences, enjoy visits with their families and, most importantly, live in safety and freedom from self-injurious and aggressive behaviors,” it said.

Parents of these disabled students joined the school in slamming down the FDA ban.

The school is “pleased.” I guess the parents of these disabled students are “pleased,” too.

Someone should have come up with a better word than “pleased.”

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