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Capitol Correspondence - 07.13.21

Federal Court Strikes Down FDA Regulation Banning Use of Electric Shock Devices

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation which would have banned the use of the graduated electronic decelerator (GED), a skin shock device used on people with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD). ANCOR and national disability organizations had long advocated for this regulation due to the harm inflicted by the devices on the individuals on which they are used. These devices are only used at the Judge Rotenburg Center in Massachusetts. 

The court overturned the regulation because it believed that the FDA did not have the authority to ban the GED for only one purpose (i.e., skin shock to modify behavior in people with I/DD), rather than banning it for all uses.

Because the court opined that the FDA has the authority to ban the GED entirely, ANCOR is working closely with our disability partners and congressional champions, particularly Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), to urge the FDA to fully ban the GED. We will continue to keep you updated as new information is available and advocacy action is needed.