Volume 25, Issue 2 (1996)
Ethical and Legal Issues Associated With the Use of Aversives in Public Schools: The SIBIS Controversy
Abstract: Self-injurious behavior (SIB) occurs most frequently among persons with severe mental retardation or autism. Repetitive head punching is a for-r-no f SIB that may become life threatening. Although controversial, one of the treatments effective in reducing SIB among persons with a history of treatment failure involves the use of the Self-Injurious Behavior Inhibiting System (SIBIS), a device that automatically delivers a mild electric shock to the arm or leg following a blow to the head. This article explores the ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of aversives. The current literature on the prevalence, etiology, and treatment of SIB is reviewed; ethical and legal issues associated with the use of aversives in the public schools are addressed.
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