Last-ditch medical therapy : revisiting lobotomy
Barron H. Lerner
- Last-ditch medical therapy : revisiting lobotomy
- Lerner, Barron H.
- Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health
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- Book/Journal Title:
- New England journal of medicine
- Desperate times call for desperate measures. So thought Walter J. Freeman, a neurologist who became the United States's staunchest advocate of the lobotomy between the 1930s and the 1970s. A new book, The Lobotomist, by journalist Jack El-Hai,1 chronicles Freeman's advocacy of a procedure that was viewed by many, and continues to be viewed, as barbaric. In exploring the ways in which lobotomy became part of common medical practice, El-Hai raises questions not only about how we should judge the procedure in retrospect, but also about what lobotomy teaches us about last-ditch medical interventions.
History of science
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