Exam 1: Lobotomy

Topics: Lobotomy, Brain, Psychosurgery Pages: 3 (753 words) Published: August 5, 2013
Exam 1: Option 1

​Lobotomy is a word that we rarely hear at the present time in history. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case during the twentieth century. Overwhelmed by ambition and the search for fame, two gifted yet ruthless doctors presented an underdeveloped and untested neurosurgical procedure as an option to society whom was desperately seeking a cure and an answer to the extraordinary number of mentally ill. During this time, the belief shared by many doctors, patients, and families was that the results of lobotomy were seemingly perfect. Or that was what it seemed like on the surface. Today, lobotomy is a word that coincides with medical barbarism and is an exemplary instance of patient’s rights being invaded by the medical profession.

​One such case that gained national attention from a radio broadcast, is that of Howard Dully, author of My Lobotomy, who at the tender age of 12 was made to endure this radical and invasive therapy in an attempt to tame his wild behavior and satisfy his stepmother. Dully is one of the youngest recipients of the transorbital or “ice pick” lobotomy (Howard Dully) which was performed by Dr. Walter Freeman, a neurologist who was accredited in the field of psychosurgery. In hopes of finding a “cure” for her stepson, Lou sought the expertise of doctors and psychologists. All six of the psychiatrists that she consulted reported that Howard was a typical, normal boy. Out of those six, four of them even stated that she was the problem. (Grimes, 2007) Freeman on the other hand, came to the conclusion that Howard was schizophrenic and a prime candidate for lobotomy. Freeman began this permanent procedure first by giving Howard a few shocks of electro-shock in order to sedate him. The actual procedure only took approximately 10 minutes. In his clinical notes, Freeman wrote “I introduced the orbitoclasts under the eyelids 3 cm from the midline, aimed them parallel with the nose and drove them a depth of 5 cm,” then “pulled the...

References: Grimes, William (2007), Spikes in the Brain and a Search for Answers. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/14/books/14book.html?_r=3&scp=1&sq=%22My%20Lobotomy%22&st=cse&oref=slogin&
Lemay, R. A. (2010). Review of ‘My lobotomy: A memoir (reprint edition)’. Ethical Human Psychology And Psychiatry: An International Journal Of Critical Inquiry, 12(1), 71-77.
Swertlow, F. (2005). THE STORY OF MY LOBOTOMY. People, 64(20), 85.
The Rise and Fall of Prefrontal Lobotomy. (2007) Retrieved February 25, 2013 from http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2007/07/24/inventing-the-lobotomy/
Three Rivers Press, My Lobotomy By Howard Dully and Charles Fleming (2010). Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law. Vol 17, No 14, 607-609
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