California Electric-Shock Psychiatrist Eric Jacobson Reprimanded for Violation of Medical Practice Act

May 9, 2018


            On April 9, 2018, the Medical Board of California issued a Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order against psychiatrist Eric M. Jacobson. The terms of the Order became effective on May 9.

According to the Board’s Order, Dr. Jacobson “failed to refer a patient's electroconvulsive therapy to the electroconvulsive therapy peer review committee for discussion and omitted any discussion in the record of the prolonged course of electroconvulsive therapy,” in violation of California Business and Professions Code section 2234(c) and section 2266 of the Medical Practice Act.

 The Board’s March 2017 Accusation, which preceded the Order, specifically states that Dr. Jacobson failed to “systematically, uniformly and thoroughly test for the validity of the patient reports of memory problems,” by use of the Folstein Mini-Mental Status Exam or similar instrument. Further, it states that he “did not document the implications of exceeding 30 ECT treatments” and that he failed to refer the patient's ECT treatment to the ECT peer review. Lastly, it states that he “omitted any discussion in the records of the extra-ordinary, prolonged course of ECT, and the usefulness of ECT as a mode of therapy.” These are all noted in the Accusation and Complaint as being departures from the standard of care.

 With its Order, the Board reprimanded Dr. Jacobson and required him to obtain no less than 20 additional hours of CME to correct any area of deficiency in his practice, a to successfully complete a medical record keeping course.

 No ECT device maker has ever conducted the necessary clinical trials of their products, thus these devices’ safety and effectiveness has never been validated. However, statistics show that it is indeed deadly, killing 2.7 to 5% of patients who receive it. In the elderly, it’s much higher: 21% of patients die within three years of treatment.

Source: Decision In the Matter of the Accusation Against Eric Michael Jacobson, M.D., Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate No. G36315, File No. 8002014009435, Medical Board of California, April 9, 2018.


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