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Old 11-07-2007, 02:51 PM
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Lobotomy--Mental Health or Torture?


Some food for thought on frontal lobotomies.

"
Rosemary Kennedy, sister of President John F. Kennedy, was given a lobotomy when her father complained to doctors about the 23-year-old’s moodiness and growing interest in men. The procedure was personally performed by Walter Freeman. Instead of producing the desired result, however, the lobotomy reduced Rosemary to an infantile mentality that left her incontinent and staring blankly at walls for hours. Her verbal skills were reduced to unintelligible babble. To avoid political scandal, the nature of Rosemary's affliction was hidden by her father for years, described to the public as the result of mental retardation. Her sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics in her honor in 1968.

"Howard Dully had a lobotomy at 12, after his stepmother was simply tired of his "youthful defiance". In regards to the long term effects of the operation, at the age of 56 he said, "I've always felt different -- wondered if something's missing from my soul. I have no memory of the operation". Dully would later go on to uncover the story of his own lobotomy, which had not previously been revealed to him. Crown Publishers published Howard Dully's memoir (co-written by Charles Fleming), My Lobotomy[1], in September 2007.[4][5]
New Zealand author and poet, Janet Frame was due to have a lobotomy because of perceived mental illness. She was only saved from this procedure after she received a literary award the day before her operation was due to take place. "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobotomy


From The Sunday TimesFebruary 19, 2006

Mental cruelty
The lobotomy is deemed one of the worst crimes in medical history. But a modern form of it is still practised in Britain - and may soon be performed without the patient's consent. By Christine Toomey and Steven Young

"The flashbacks come late at night. First comes the recollection of intense physical pain, as if the bones in his arms are being snapped like twigs. Then he hears the voice of the neurosurgeon applying an electric current to metal pins implanted in the tissue of his brain. "How do you feel, Derek?" the surgeon Arthur E Wall asks, while peering into Derek Hutchinson's eyes to see if his pupils have yet dilated with fear."
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/lif...=null&offset=0




"Of course, lobotomy now seems like a medically sanctioned form of torture. The main theory behind it was that anxiety and agitation could be quelled by severing the emotional center of the brain from the part that controls intellect, but the evidence to support this idea was meager. The person performing the surgery usually couldn’t even see what he was cutting, and doctors considered patients "cured" after minimal follow-up. Yet, as Elliot S. Valenstein points out in Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness (Basic Books, 1986), "Even a surgeon who was convinced that he was not obtaining good results seldom gave up lobotomy. It was difficult to admit that the effort had been completely wasted, especially when other surgeons were reporting success. Rather than abandoning psychosurgery, neurosurgeons much more commonly introduced some change in the operation in the hope of increasing the success rate." "

http://www.stayfreemagazine.org/arch.../lobotomy.html



And as this article from the National Catholic Reporter, threatening a detainee with a lobotomy as torture as usual for the United States.

"The manual also suggests threatening a detainee suspected of feigning mental illness by telling him that he might need “a series of electric shock treatments or a frontal lobotomy.”

http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/arch...04/110504a.php

Are any of you reading this seeing the immense potential for abuse?
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:11 PM
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I originally saw this on the EFA website and was submited by a friend there named Jeff.

Originally Posted by Wall Street Journal :
NANJING, China -- Mi Zhantao, a poor 25-year-old living with his parents outside this provincial capital in eastern China, was battling depression and had trouble socializing. Doctors said he had schizophrenia. They recommended brain surgery.

Mr. Mi's family spent about $4,800 -- the equivalent of four years' income, and more than their life savings -- on the operation, at No. 454 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army in Nanjing. The highly controversial procedure involved drilling tiny holes in the young man's skull, inserting a 7˝-inch-long needle and burning small areas of brain tissue thought to be causing his problems.

The surgeon, who operated on Mr. Mi the day he met him, says he has performed nearly 1,000 such procedures, mostly for schizophrenia, but also for illnesses ranging from depression to epilepsy, since the hospital started offering the operation in 2004.

Mr. Mi's parents say the surgery did nothing but leave their son with a partially limp right arm and slurred speech. He continues to be depressed and withdrawn, his mother says. Wang Yifang, the surgeon, says he checked the medical records and, as far as he knows, the patient left the hospital uninjured.

Mr. Mi's mother, Kong Lingxia, 50, says she'll regret the decision for the rest of her life. "I feel so angry," she says. "But I'm really angry at myself. How could I let this happen?"

The irreversible brain surgeries performed at No. 454 Hospital, which are all but blacklisted for mental illness in the developed world, are being done across China. They are a symptom of the problems plaguing the nation's health-care system, which has left hospitals with scant public funding and hungry for profit.

...
In China, Brain Surgery Is Pushed on the Mentally Ill

Last edited by Bernard; 11-08-2007 at 09:41 AM. Reason: copyright concerns... post snippet and a link to the source
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:12 PM
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China doesn't seem to be any different than the United States in regards to using psychosurgery to suppress others. There is advocacy and information available at the web site for The Citizens Commission on Human Rights:

"
Electroshock and Psychosurgery

If human rights include freedom from brutality and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, then there is no doubt that contemporary psychiatrys major treatment fixations are human rights abuses. "


http://www.cchr.org/index/5276/6608/
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:05 PM
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Yes my MIL's best friend had severe depression following an accident. Here she was a survivor of the Holocaust and was subjected to a lobotomy in the 1990's. Thank goodness she has done well since, but I wonder what else could have been done. Perhaps neurofeedback would have been a more humane route to try.
Yes this was in New York, USA
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:26 PM
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Its so sad sometimes the way things can be.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:50 PM
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previous lobotomy discussion
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bernard View Post:
previous lobotomy discussion
Thanks for linking that in, I hadn't seen it. Just think how easy it would be to convince someone that they could "cure" "mental illness" sparked by seizures through surgery! It could happen to anyone.
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