Research Paper Trails

CAMH—the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health took out an advertisement on Craig’s List under “Jobs Etc.” The job being advertised involved people agreeing to be electroshocked as part of a research study. They were basically assured that it would lead to no longterm harm, and would in fact benefit them, for ECT causes brain cells to grow. Psychiatric survivors around the world were horrified. Dr. Bonnie Burstow—an antipsychiatry activist and a faculty member at the University of Toronto lodged an official complaint with the Secretariat overseeing research protocols in Canada. CAMH eventually launched an official investigation that was entirely secret, with no one knowing who was on the panel or seeing a copy of the report. Accordingly to CAMH, the panel found that nothing wrong had happened. To see the original advertisement and other promotional material and the interchange of letters that materialized as this protest unfolded, the reader is invited to read the following group of documents (obtained through Freedom of Information by a fellow activist) . Use your own judgment in evaluating what you see here and feel free to tell others about it. The order of the material is first the CAMH study material, and second, the correspondence between Burstow and the various officials in order of date.

CAMH Study Material

Burstow-Institutional Correspondence

An Addendum: All the material found in the paper trail section was legally accessed by a CAPA member through a Freedom of Infomation request, and accordingly is now in the public domain-hence its legitimate appearance here.