Lobotomy

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 …

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