The Lobotomist

Topics: Orbitoclast, Medicine, Psychiatry Pages: 2 (615 words) Published: September 17, 2013
The Lobotomist In the first half of the twentieth century very little was being done to aid the mentally ill. People suffering from a very wide range of mental illness were unwanted by their families and usually sent to asylums where they were, for lack of a better word, warehoused. When Dr.Freeman became director of St.Elizabeths hospital in Washington D.C, he was appalled. The patients of the hospital had disgusting dirty conditions in which to live, they were agitated, and there was no treatment available to help them. When Dr.Freeman began practicing the only known treatment for mental illness was shock therapy. Shock therapy for the era in which it was most popular, worked to a certain standard. It depended on the equipment, and what exactly the desired outcome was. But essentially all that was achieved by these shock therapy treatments was that it caused the patient to become quiet and subdued for a period of time, but never cured them. In September of 1936 Freeman performed the first Lobotomy in United States History with his partner James Watts on a house wife. Freeman believed that with his surgery he was able to cure the mentally ill. The so-called success of his operation were judged on the fact that the patients did not exhibit signs of anxiety or depression, only several hours after the surgery had been performed. The medical community was at first outraged that Dr.Freeman would be so reckless as to attempt an untested procedure such as this. However, the overall opinion of lobotomies changed. Dr.Freeman decided that a lobotomy had to be a quick and cheap procedure if it was too be a viable procedure to help such a great amount of people. Freeman transformed the procedure so that instead of going in through the skull, you would go from behind the eye, using an ice pick to crack through the skull. Lobotomies were being written about in medical journals and used in large hospitals such as John Hopkins. Freeman so confident and in love with his own work...
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