Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

Aug. 10, 1999.

NORMA PREFERS SHOCK TREATMENT: THE WONDERS OF CUBAN MEDICINE By Juan Carlos Recio, Cuba Free Press.

SANTA CLARA - "The doctor already told me that each time we give him the electroshock treatment we are risking an infarct. His heart is not in good shape. But you see I can not have a schizophrenic in my house without medicines. He is not violent as long as he has his pills...but the only things coming in with any regularity are diazepam (Valium) and 'parkisonil' and those do nothing for him! So I prefer to see him dead than suffering...because in his lucid moments he is ashamed of his illness."

Pedro Perez Aguila, resident of the cooperative Niceto Perez, age 41, and his wife Norma provide an example of the despair many chronic patients and their families face due to the lack of medicines. The only treatment alternative offered these patients is electroshock. Family members must give consent since these patients may die. The alternative treatment requires a steady supply of the proper pills, which are not available at the government supply sources, where payment is made with the national currency.

"I realize he is not the only one having a crisis," Norma says. "But it is very hard for me to be the one signing his death sentence. Because I know sooner or later his heart will stop. But I also cannot let him kill us in the midst of one of his frenzies. You should see him bang himself against the wall...and he knows he can not stop himself until they shock him. He suffers terror as he awaits that treatment. But he can not go through life tied down like an animal. If he can not live here like a person, maybe he can live in the other world, and may God forgive me."

Juan Carlos Recio, Cuba Free Press.


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