Paul Henri Thomas is Free
Tuesday, September 18th 2001
HIS RESISTANCE TO FORCED ELECTROSHOCK INSPIRED HUNDREDS TO SPEAK OUT
This morning, Paul Henri Thomas left Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center and entered his new home -- a community residential facility.
While not settled yet in his home, Paul is at last free... Free from more forced electroshock, free from more than two years of captivity in Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.
Paul is a long-time activist with the psychiatric survivor social change movement. When he said "no" to the forced electroshock he was receiving, his resistance led to hundreds of people speaking out in a seven-month campaign.
Support Coalition International helped break the silence and reach the public. His advocate in the facility -- Anne Krauss -- felt so strongly about the issue that she quit her job (and now works for NARPA, see http://www.NARPA.org). Many other groups, advocates, citizens and his expert attorneys -- Dennis Feld and Kiim Darrow -- fought long and hard for Paul's freedom. Radio personality Gary Null backed Paul, and helped organize a 433-person protest. Advocates met with Paul, and stayed in touch with him.
Eventually, the New York State Assembly held public hearings, and the media provided extensive coverage of Paul and forced electroshock. Several bills regulating forced electroshock are now being considered by the NY State Assembly.
Today, Paul phoned Support Coalition International's office to thank the many members who fought for his freedom. Paul is now in a State Operated Community Residence (SOCR) and is looking forward to his own residence some day soon.
Paul said, "God bless." He said he will celebrate.
In other good news, "Adam S." has received a stay from the courts, giving him reprieve from further forced electroshock for now.
For a recap of the battle against forced electroshock in New York State see: http://www.mindfreedom.org/mindfreedom/paul.shtml
This article was published by ECT.org on Tuesday, September 18th 2001 and NOT owned by nor affiliated with opacity.us, but are recorded here solely for educational use. The photographs featured in the article are randomly selected from the Pilgrim State Hospital galleries on opacity.us unless noted otherwise; they may not directly relate to the article subject matter except for the site location - any other relation is purely coincidental.