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McMurphy sees a room that is unmarked. He asks Harding what happens inside, and Harding tells him that the room is the Shock Shop. Although Harding says that they are witnessing the sunset of electroshock therapy (EST), Nurse Ratched is one of the few remaining advocates of it. Harding claims that EST is not always used for punitive means but “for a patient’s own good.”
Harding relates the history of EST. It came about when two psychiatrists were visiting a slaughterhouse and watched how a blow to the head would induce an epileptic convulsion in a cow, and they concluded that if a seizure could be induced in non-epileptics, great benefits might result. Harding claims that the process is painless, but the jolt sets off a wild carnival of images.