Lobotomy Essay Research Paper Psychosurgery

Lobotomy Essay, Research Paper Psychosurgery 2 The Rise and Fall of Psychosurgery Just imagine, ?a hole of 2.5 to 5 cm of diameter, drilled by hand into the skull of a living man, without any anesthesia or asepsis, during 30 to 60 long minutes. This is maybe the most ancient form of brain surgery known to man: it is called trepanning (from Greek trupanon, borer) or trephining (Sabbatini, 1997)?.

Lobotomy Essay, Research Paper

Psychosurgery 2

The Rise and Fall of Psychosurgery

Just imagine, ?a hole of 2.5 to 5 cm of diameter, drilled by hand into the skull of a living man, without any anesthesia or asepsis, during 30 to 60 long minutes. This is maybe the most ancient form of brain surgery known to man: it is called trepanning (from Greek trupanon, borer) or trephining (Sabbatini, 1997)?. This perhaps was the first idea that man can be cured of mental illness by biological exploration. Thousands of years later,

psychosurgery was discovered by accident in America in 1847 when a laborer, involved in rock-blasting, had an iron bar driven through the front of his head, by an explosion, damaging the frontal lobes of the brain. Amazingly, he survived but his personality was changed. Doctors realized

from this that behavior could be altered by interfering with the frontal lobes and so psychosurgery was born

(Carruth,1989).?

Both examples of the earliest ?lobotomies? played roles in developing Dr.Egas Moniz and Walter Freemans procedures in psychosurgery.

It was not until 1935 that the neurologist, Egaz Moniz, developed the psychosurgery operations we know today. He performed the first lobotomy (Egaz Moniz was later murdered by one of his lobotomy patients ? obviously, the patient was not impressed with the benefits of having bits of his brain destroyed.). A lobotomy is brain surgery, Webster’s defines it as ?surgical severance of

Psychosurgery 3

nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus for the

relief of some mental disorders.? Ironically, it also defines the act of lobotomizing as, ? depriving of sensitivity , intelligence, or vitality?, factors all of which are essential to make a healthy individual- some argue that taking away parts of the brain makes an individual less human.

Mozin believed that, ? the frontal lobes are the seat of mans psychic activity, and that thoughts and ideas are some how stored in nerve fiber connections between brain cells… all serious mental disorders are the result of ?fixed? thoughts that interfere with normal mental life; arguing that ?fixed thoughts? are maintained by nerve pathways in the frontal lobes (Valenstein, 1986).?

Mozins theory on the fibers that connected the fixed thoughts and the frontal lobe was vague; years later Freeman and Watt?s improved upon this theory suggesting that specific bands of fiber need be cut to make the lobotomy successful(Valenstein, 1986).

From most recorded accounts of lobotomies one can surmise that when considered ?successful? the surgery just relieved the symptoms at best; patients most of the time became?passive and sluggish, losing their feelings, their ambition, and often developed epilepsy, etc. Side effects of ?unsuccessful? surgeries include severe brain damage, becoming a vegetable and death. So were individuals actually being cured or just made indefinitely sedated? It wasn?t until the 1950?s the scientific community began to doubt whether lobotomies actually achieved the goals that they

Psychosurgery 4

set out to. ? Even lobotomy’s proponents admitted that only one third of the operated patients would improve, while one-third remained the same, and one-third got worst (25 to 30 % is the proportion of spontaneous improvement in many kinds of mental diseases ! Thus, a large proportion of the operated patients could have recovered without the lobotomy) (Sabbatini, 1997).?

Individuals began to realize just what a inhumane act the lobotomy was. It was Clear that the lobotomy was causing ?brain damage?, and in turn lessening the patients quality of life. Concern over the protection of patients against lobotomy and similar radical therapies, particularly in inmates, where release was widely exchanged with agreement to a lobotomy (a highly unfair, biased and controversial offer); translated into laws (against such an act) in the United States in the 70’s and in many other countries as well. In addition, the appearance of new anti psychotic and anti depressive drugs, such as Thorazine in the 50’s, gave new means to combat most of the symptoms experienced by agitated and uncontrollable patients(Sabbatini, 1997).

As of late, new advancement in the scientific community have spawned an interest in psychosurgery; but the argument against it is still is going strong. It has been proven that, “no significant activity of the brain occurs in isolation without

Psychosurgery 5

correlated activity in other parts of the brain (?Panelist?, 1996)?; and their is a strong opinion in the psychological community that ?Violent behavior is not associated with brain disease and should not be dealt with surgically. At best, neurosurgery should rightfully concern itself with medical problems, and not the behavior problems of a social etiology (?Panelist?, 1996).”

To me the entire concept of the lobotomy is sickening. Doctors take an oath saying something to the effect that they are suppose to save or improve the quality of life, and the lobotomy does neither. Unfortunately the push is to perform the surgery on those who are institutionalized. If the surgery is a failure then they will be no worse off, since the patient wasn?t a contributing member of society to begin with. Doctors and scientists are always wanting to learn and the only way that they can do this is by experimenting. The only way they can do this on humans is by doing it to those who can’t object. The failures are locked away in institutions and the public never get to see them. If on the other hand the surgery is successful the recognition of the accomplishment is plentiful. Experimentation of this sort is disgusting way to treat anyone and those that would even consider it should be ashamed to call themselves medical professionals.

Psychosurgery 6

References

Carruth, Gorton (Ed.). (1989). Lobotomy. The Volume Library (volume 23. pp. 1976). Nashville: The Southwestern Company.

Panelist Considers Value of Psychosurgery as Techniques Become more Refine (June 7, 1996). Psychiatric News.

Sabbatini PhD, Renato (June 1997). The History of Psychosurgery. Brain and Mind Magazine.

Valenstein, Elloiot (1986). Great and Desperate Cures : The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers.

Kimberly Kelly

(see attached for a good laugh!)

Psychosurgery 2

The Rise and Fall of Psychosurgery

Just imagine, ?a hole of 2.5 to 5 cm of diameter, drilled by hand into the skull of a living man, without any anesthesia or asepsis, during 30 to 60 long minutes. This is maybe the most ancient form of brain surgery known to man: it is called trepanning (from Greek trupanon, borer) or trephining (Sabbatini, 1997)?. This perhaps was the first idea that man can be cured of mental illness by biological exploration. Thousands of years later,

psychosurgery was discovered by accident in America in 1847 when a laborer, involved in rock-blasting, had an iron bar driven through the front of his head, by an explosion, damaging the frontal lobes of the brain. Amazingly, he survived but his personality was changed. Doctors realized

from this that behavior could be altered by interfering with the frontal lobes and so psychosurgery was born

(Carruth,1989).?

Both examples of the earliest ?lobotomies? played roles in developing Dr.Egas Moniz and Walter Freemans procedures in psychosurgery.

It was not until 1935 that the neurologist, Egaz Moniz, developed the psychosurgery operations we know today. He performed the first lobotomy (Egaz Moniz was later murdered by one of his lobotomy patients ? obviously, the patient was not impressed with the benefits of having bits of his brain destroyed.). A lobotomy is brain surgery, Webster’s defines it as ?surgical severance of

Psychosurgery 3

nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus for the

relief of some mental disorders.? Ironically, it also defines the act of lobotomizing as, ? depriving of sensitivity , intelligence, or vitality?, factors all of which are essential to make a healthy individual- some argue that taking away parts of the brain makes an individual less human.

Mozin believed that, ? the frontal lobes are the seat of mans psychic activity, and that thoughts and ideas are some how stored in nerve fiber connections between brain cells… all serious mental disorders are the result of ?fixed? thoughts that interfere with normal mental life; arguing that ?fixed thoughts? are maintained by nerve pathways in the frontal lobes (Valenstein, 1986).?

Mozins theory on the fibers that connected the fixed thoughts and the frontal lobe was vague; years later Freeman and Watt?s improved upon this theory suggesting that specific bands of fiber need be cut to make the lobotomy successful(Valenstein, 1986).

From most recorded accounts of lobotomies one can surmise that when considered ?successful? the surgery just relieved the symptoms at best; patients most of the time became?passive and sluggish, losing their feelings, their ambition, and often developed epilepsy, etc. Side effects of ?unsuccessful? surgeries include severe brain damage, becoming a vegetable and death. So were individuals actually being cured or just made indefinitely sedated? It wasn?t until the 1950?s the scientific community began to doubt whether lobotomies actually achieved the goals that they

Psychosurgery 4

set out to. ? Even lobotomy’s proponents admitted that only one third of the operated patients would improve, while one-third remained the same, and one-third got worst (25 to 30 % is the proportion of spontaneous improvement in many kinds of mental diseases ! Thus, a large proportion of the operated patients could have recovered without the lobotomy) (Sabbatini, 1997).?

Individuals began to realize just what a inhumane act the lobotomy was. It was Clear that the lobotomy was causing ?brain damage?, and in turn lessening the patients quality of life. Concern over the protection of patients against lobotomy and similar radical therapies, particularly in inmates, where release was widely exchanged with agreement to a lobotomy (a highly unfair, biased and controversial offer); translated into laws (against such an act) in the United States in the 70’s and in many other countries as well. In addition, the appearance of new anti psychotic and anti depressive drugs, such as Thorazine in the 50’s, gave new means to combat most of the symptoms experienced by agitated and uncontrollable patients(Sabbatini, 1997).

As of late, new advancement in the scientific community have spawned an interest in psychosurgery; but the argument against it is still is going strong. It has been proven that, “no significant activity of the brain occurs in isolation without

Psychosurgery 5

correlated activity in other parts of the brain (?Panelist?, 1996)?; and their is a strong opinion in the psychological community that ?Violent behavior is not associated with brain disease and should not be dealt with surgically. At best, neurosurgery should rightfully concern itself with medical problems, and not the behavior problems of a social etiology (?Panelist?, 1996).”

To me the entire concept of the lobotomy is sickening. Doctors take an oath saying something to the effect that they are suppose to save or improve the quality of life, and the lobotomy does neither. Unfortunately the push is to perform the surgery on those who are institutionalized. If the surgery is a failure then they will be no worse off, since the patient wasn?t a contributing member of society to begin with. Doctors and scientists are always wanting to learn and the only way that they can do this is by experimenting. The only way they can do this on humans is by doing it to those who can’t object. The failures are locked away in institutions and the public never get to see them. If on the other hand the surgery is successful the recognition of the accomplishment is plentiful. Experimentation of this sort is disgusting way to treat anyone and those that would even consider it should be ashamed to call themselves medical professionals.

Psychosurgery 6

References

Carruth, Gorton (Ed.). (1989). Lobotomy. The Volume Library (volume 23. pp. 1976). Nashville: The Southwestern Company.

Panelist Considers Value of Psychosurgery as Techniques Become more Refine (June 7, 1996). Psychiatric News.

Sabbatini PhD, Renato (June 1997). The History of Psychosurgery. Brain and Mind Magazine.

Valenstein, Elloiot (1986). Great and Desperate Cures : The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers.

Kimberly Kelly

(see attached for a good laugh!)

Psychosurgery 2

The Rise and Fall of Psychosurgery

Just imagine, ?a hole of 2.5 to 5 cm of diameter, drilled by hand into the skull of a living man, without any anesthesia or asepsis, during 30 to 60 long minutes. This is maybe the most ancient form of brain surgery known to man: it is called trepanning (from Greek trupanon, borer) or trephining (Sabbatini, 1997)?. This perhaps was the first idea that man can be cured of mental illness by biological exploration. Thousands of years later,

psychosurgery was discovered by accident in America in 1847 when a laborer, involved in rock-blasting, had an iron bar driven through the front of his head, by an explosion, damaging the frontal lobes of the brain. Amazingly, he survived but his personality was changed. Doctors realized

from this that behavior could be altered by interfering with the frontal lobes and so psychosurgery was born

(Carruth,1989).?

Both examples of the earliest ?lobotomies? played roles in developing Dr.Egas Moniz and Walter Freemans procedures in psychosurgery.

It was not until 1935 that the neurologist, Egaz Moniz, developed the psychosurgery operations we know today. He performed the first lobotomy (Egaz Moniz was later murdered by one of his lobotomy patients ? obviously, the patient was not impressed with the benefits of having bits of his brain destroyed.). A lobotomy is brain surgery, Webster’s defines it as ?surgical severance of

Psychosurgery 3

nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus for the

relief of some mental disorders.? Ironically, it also defines the act of lobotomizing as, ? depriving of sensitivity , intelligence, or vitality?, factors all of which are essential to make a healthy individual- some argue that taking away parts of the brain makes an individual less human.

Mozin believed that, ? the frontal lobes are the seat of mans psychic activity, and that thoughts and ideas are some how stored in nerve fiber connections between brain cells… all serious mental disorders are the result of ?fixed? thoughts that interfere with normal mental life; arguing that ?fixed thoughts? are maintained by nerve pathways in the frontal lobes (Valenstein, 1986).?

Mozins theory on the fibers that connected the fixed thoughts and the frontal lobe was vague; years later Freeman and Watt?s improved upon this theory suggesting that specific bands of fiber need be cut to make the lobotomy successful(Valenstein, 1986).

From most recorded accounts of lobotomies one can surmise that when considered ?successful? the surgery just relieved the symptoms at best; patients most of the time became?passive and sluggish, losing their feelings, their ambition, and often developed epilepsy, etc. Side effects of ?unsuccessful? surgeries include severe brain damage, becoming a vegetable and death. So were individuals actually being cured or just made indefinitely sedated? It wasn?t until the 1950?s the scientific community began to doubt whether lobotomies actually achieved the goals that they

Psychosurgery 4

set out to. ? Even lobotomy’s proponents admitted that only one third of the operated patients would improve, while one-third remained the same, and one-third got worst (25 to 30 % is the proportion of spontaneous improvement in many kinds of mental diseases ! Thus, a large proportion of the operated patients could have recovered without the lobotomy) (Sabbatini, 1997).?

Individuals began to realize just what a inhumane act the lobotomy was. It was Clear that the lobotomy was causing ?brain damage?, and in turn lessening the patients quality of life. Concern over the protection of patients against lobotomy and similar radical therapies, particularly in inmates, where release was widely exchanged with agreement to a lobotomy (a highly unfair, biased and controversial offer); translated into laws (against such an act) in the United States in the 70’s and in many other countries as well. In addition, the appearance of new anti psychotic and anti depressive drugs, such as Thorazine in the 50’s, gave new means to combat most of the symptoms experienced by agitated and uncontrollable patients(Sabbatini, 1997).

As of late, new advancement in the scientific community have spawned an interest in psychosurgery; but the argument against it is still is going strong. It has been proven that, “no significant activity of the brain occurs in isolation without

Psychosurgery 5

correlated activity in other parts of the brain (?Panelist?, 1996)?; and their is a strong opinion in the psychological community that ?Violent behavior is not associated with brain disease and should not be dealt with surgically. At best, neurosurgery should rightfully concern itself with medical problems, and not the behavior problems of a social etiology (?Panelist?, 1996).”

To me the entire concept of the lobotomy is sickening. Doctors take an oath saying something to the effect that they are suppose to save or improve the quality of life, and the lobotomy does neither. Unfortunately the push is to perform the surgery on those who are institutionalized. If the surgery is a failure then they will be no worse off, since the patient wasn?t a contributing member of society to begin with. Doctors and scientists are always wanting to learn and the only way that they can do this is by experimenting. The only way they can do this on humans is by doing it to those who can’t object. The failures are locked away in institutions and the public never get to see them. If on the other hand the surgery is successful the recognition of the accomplishment is plentiful. Experimentation of this sort is disgusting way to treat anyone and those that would even consider it should be ashamed to call themselves medical professionals.

Psychosurgery 6

References

Carruth, Gorton (Ed.). (1989). Lobotomy. The Volume Library (volume 23. pp. 1976). Nashville: The Southwestern Company.

Panelist Considers Value of Psychosurgery as Techniques Become more Refine (June 7, 1996). Psychiatric News.

Sabbatini PhD, Renato (June 1997). The History of Psychosurgery. Brain and Mind Magazine.

Valenstein, Elloiot (1986). Great and Desperate Cures : The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers.

Kimberly Kelly

(see attached for a good laugh!)

Psychosurgery 2

The Rise and Fall of Psychosurgery

Just imagine, ?a hole of 2.5 to 5 cm of diameter, drilled by hand into the skull of a living man, without any anesthesia or asepsis, during 30 to 60 long minutes. This is maybe the most ancient form of brain surgery known to man: it is called trepanning (from Greek trupanon, borer) or trephining (Sabbatini, 1997)?. This perhaps was the first idea that man can be cured of mental illness by biological exploration. Thousands of years later,

psychosurgery was discovered by accident in America in 1847 when a laborer, involved in rock-blasting, had an iron bar driven through the front of his head, by an explosion, damaging the frontal lobes of the brain. Amazingly, he survived but his personality was changed. Doctors realized

from this that behavior could be altered by interfering with the frontal lobes and so psychosurgery was born

(Carruth,1989).?

Both examples of the earliest ?lobotomies? played roles in developing Dr.Egas Moniz and Walter Freemans procedures in psychosurgery.

It was not until 1935 that the neurologist, Egaz Moniz, developed the psychosurgery operations we know today. He performed the first lobotomy (Egaz Moniz was later murdered by one of his lobotomy patients ? obviously, the patient was not impressed with the benefits of having bits of his brain destroyed.). A lobotomy is brain surgery, Webster’s defines it as ?surgical severance of

Psychosurgery 3

nerve fibers connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus for the

relief of some mental disorders.? Ironically, it also defines the act of lobotomizing as, ? depriving of sensitivity , intelligence, or vitality?, factors all of which are essential to make a healthy individual- some argue that taking away parts of the brain makes an individual less human.

Mozin believed that, ? the frontal lobes are the seat of mans psychic activity, and that thoughts and ideas are some how stored in nerve fiber connections between brain cells… all serious mental disorders are the result of ?fixed? thoughts that interfere with normal mental life; arguing that ?fixed thoughts? are maintained by nerve pathways in the frontal lobes (Valenstein, 1986).?

Mozins theory on the fibers that connected the fixed thoughts and the frontal lobe was vague; years later Freeman and Watt?s improved upon this theory suggesting that specific bands of fiber need be cut to make the lobotomy successful(Valenstein, 1986).

From most recorded accounts of lobotomies one can surmise that when considered ?successful? the surgery just relieved the symptoms at best; patients most of the time became?passive and sluggish, losing their feelings, their ambition, and often developed epilepsy, etc. Side effects of ?unsuccessful? surgeries include severe brain damage, becoming a vegetable and death. So were individuals actually being cured or just made indefinitely sedated? It wasn?t until the 1950?s the scientific community began to doubt whether lobotomies actually achieved the goals that they

Psychosurgery 4

set out to. ? Even lobotomy’s proponents admitted that only one third of the operated patients would improve, while one-third remained the same, and one-third got worst (25 to 30 % is the proportion of spontaneous improvement in many kinds of mental diseases ! Thus, a large proportion of the operated patients could have recovered without the lobotomy) (Sabbatini, 1997).?

Individuals began to realize just what a inhumane act the lobotomy was. It was Clear that the lobotomy was causing ?brain damage?, and in turn lessening the patients quality of life. Concern over the protection of patients against lobotomy and similar radical therapies, particularly in inmates, where release was widely exchanged with agreement to a lobotomy (a highly unfair, biased and controversial offer); translated into laws (against such an act) in the United States in the 70’s and in many other countries as well. In addition, the appearance of new anti psychotic and anti depressive drugs, such as Thorazine in the 50’s, gave new means to combat most of the symptoms experienced by agitated and uncontrollable patients(Sabbatini, 1997).

As of late, new advancement in the scientific community have spawned an interest in psychosurgery; but the argument against it is still is going strong. It has been proven that, “no significant activity of the brain occurs in isolation without

Psychosurgery 5

correlated activity in other parts of the brain (?Panelist?, 1996)?; and their is a strong opinion in the psychological community that ?Violent behavior is not associated with brain disease and should not be dealt with surgically. At best, neurosurgery should rightfully concern itself with medical problems, and not the behavior problems of a social etiology (?Panelist?, 1996).”

To me the entire concept of the lobotomy is sickening. Doctors take an oath saying something to the effect that they are suppose to save or improve the quality of life, and the lobotomy does neither. Unfortunately the push is to perform the surgery on those who are institutionalized. If the surgery is a failure then they will be no worse off, since the patient wasn?t a contributing member of society to begin with. Doctors and scientists are always wanting to learn and the only way that they can do this is by experimenting. The only way they can do this on humans is by doing it to those who can’t object. The failures are locked away in institutions and the public never get to see them. If on the other hand the surgery is successful the recognition of the accomplishment is plentiful. Experimentation of this sort is disgusting way to treat anyone and those that would even consider it should be ashamed to call themselves medical professionals.

Psychosurgery 6

References

Carruth, Gorton (Ed.). (1989). Lobotomy. The Volume Library (volume 23. pp. 1976). Nashville: The Southwestern Company.

Panelist Considers Value of Psychosurgery as Techniques Become more Refine (June 7, 1996). Psychiatric News.

Sabbatini PhD, Renato (June 1997). The History of Psychosurgery. Brain and Mind Magazine.

Valenstein, Elloiot (1986). Great and Desperate Cures : The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers.