Lobotomy, a Historical Procedure
Professor Steve Baker
March 7, 2007
Lobotomy 2 Lobotomy, a Historical Procedure The lobotomy was first performed by the Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz in 1935. However by the 1960's it was a medical procedure which fell out of favor with most physicians (Freckelton, 2005). The lobotomy was originally considered very helpful in calming the emotions of severely disturbed individuals, but after years of practice case studies indicated that the procedure was not helpful, and even harmful to a large number of those whom the procedure was performed on. The lobotomy indeed was not the miracle cure that it was originally thought to be (Comer, 2005). Although it did prevent suicides in some and allow others to live with their fears and worries, the lobotomy also created as many problems as it cured as was later understood. Lobotomies caused serious problems such as brain seizures, enormous weight gain, loss of motor skills, paralysis, incontinence, endocrine malfunctions, and handicapped intellectual and emotional responsiveness (Comer, 2005). Lobotomy can even cause brain hemorrhage and death (Freckelton, 2005). Many doctors used the lobotomy for nothing more than a method of restraining patients with severe emotional problems so that they would not have to use their resources to try and deal with these problem patients. Doctors looked upon the lobotomy as a method of patient management and ward management, thinking it a solution for social as well as individual difficulty. Or, simply put, a means of behavioral control. (Braslow, 1999). Today the lobotomy is viewed as almost science fiction....
References: Braslow, J. (1999). Therapeutic effectiveness and social context: the case of lobotomy in a California state
hospital, 1947-1954. The Western Journal of Medicine, p293. Retrieved March 7, 2007, from Ezproxy database.
Comer, R.J. (2005). Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology: Fourth Edition. New York: Worth Publishers
Freckelton, I. (2005). The Lobotomist. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, p258(4). Retrieved March 7, 2007,
from Ezproxy database.
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