Here ya go,
"1. Chelmsford "Deep Sleep" Therapy
Chelmsford was a private psychiatric hospital in Pennant Hills, New South Wales (NSW). Over the period 1962-1979, a form of "deep-sleep" treatment was employed. This treatment consisted of continuous barbiturate-induced comas for up to four weeks at a time. Deep sleep therapy was administered for everything from pre-menstrual tension to obesity, including depression, tension, schizophrenia, and drug addiction. It is not, strictly speaking, a therapy, since it induces a deep coma following the administration of very high doses of barbiturates. As a result there is a loss of bowel control, and an inability to remove secretions from the bronchi and lungs. During this treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was administered, sometimes in repeated doses.
Over this 17-year period 26 people died. These deaths were due to a number of causes, of which pneumonia was a principal one. Other causes included heart attacks and strokes. Fifteen other patients committed suicide following the treatment. Additional consequences of the treatment included: loss of weight, paralysis, respiratory and bowel problems, loss of self-confidence, personality changes, drug dependence, and alcohol problems. Not surprisingly, many lives were subsequently shattered.
Patients were referred to the hospital by general practitioners and solicitors. No consent was sought for much of the treatment undertaken, and ECT was not mentioned to patients. Some were actually told there would be no ECT. No visitors were allowed. The doctor in charge of the hospital committed suicide himself on 8 September 1985. At the time of his death his medical record was clear, since no disciplinary action had been brought against him.
In 1970, the NSW Department of Health was tipped off about deep sleep therapy, as a result of an anonymous letter sent to the Department. It subsequently transpired that this had been written by a nurse who had worked at Chelmsford. However, the Department decided against investigating the hospital or the clinical appropriateness of the treatment, since it was the subject of a police investigation at the time. The result was that this form of treatment was allowed to continue.
In 1973, an individual by the name of Mr. Barry Hart entered Chelmsford to look around. According to his account, he was given a glass of water and a tablet, after which he was in a coma for 14 days. When he woke he was confused, hallucinating, in pain, and very angry. He also had pleurisy, a deep vein thrombosis, and a pulmonary embolism. He was transferred to nearby Hornsby Hospital, where he recovered over a two-week period. As a result of this succession of events, he became a crusader against one of the doctors administering the treatment. Prior to his admission to Chelmsford, he had quite specifically refused to consent to ECT, but it was nevertheless administered during his barbiturate-induced coma. At the end of 1973 he started court proceedings, but for a number of years failed to get anyone to take his story seriously. Finally he succeeded, and his case reached court in 1980. This resulted in his being awarded $60,000 (Aust.) in damages.
Five years after Mr. Hart's episode in the hospital, the then NSW Attorney-General started a campaign against Chelmsford. He failed. So, too, did campaigns started by the Citizens Committee on Human Rights (Church of Scientology), and a local branch of the Australian Labor Party. In the same year, 1978, the then Minister of Health in NSW directed the NSW Health Commission to drop all investigations into Chelmsford Hospital, on the grounds that the police were also making enquiries. Although two inspections of the hospital were actually carried out, in 1978 and 1979, there was no investigation into the clinical appropriateness of the treatment.
In 1979 the treatment was discontinued, mainly because doctors refused to send patients there. It had nothing to do with official action of any kind. The instigator of the change was a psychiatrist, who visited Chelmsford towards the end of 1978, since he had heard of the condition of patients reaching Hornsby Hospital from Chelmsford. He began to withdraw patients; as did other doctors.
Of various further developments in the 1980s, I shall highlight just one set of responses to the affair, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. Sir Martin Roth, former Professor of Psychiatry at Cambridge University in England, wrote on 6 January 1981: "The inhumanity and cruelty to which patients appear to have been subjected is quite unique in my experience, and the Scientologists and other organizations will have obtained ammunition for years or decades to come. There is therefore a pressing need for maintaining strict confidentiality at this stage, until one can set these barbarities in the context of contemporary practice in psychiatry." This was written in a letter received by a medical practitioner, Dr. John Sydney Smith, after the latter had attempted to generate support to achieve a substantive inquiry into Chelmsford. Sir Martin advised Dr. Smith not to write an open letter to the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain, but instead to send a private letter to its president.
Smith wrote to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists on 10 October 1980. On receiving no reply, he re-sent the letter. He eventually did receive a reply from its president on 16 July 1981. In this he was informed that no action could be taken until he sent $10 (Aust.): "I am unable to refer to the committee the complaint from Dr J Sydney Smith, as it has not been lodged in the manner prescribed by the Act, i.e. with a deposit of Aust $10." The College never lodged the complaint.
One of the major issues raised by this series of events, therefore, is why the medical profession and government failed to bring these appalling happenings to a halt. In the end it was left to journalists, with a series of articles in the Sydney Morning Herald, to bring the details into the open and to precipitate a major inquiry into these disastrous past events."
As and added note many parents sent their homosexual sons to this facility who had to endure much worse than this including ECT. (Electric shock treatment.) There was huge outrage amongst the community when it was all uncovered and it turned into a major scandal.