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  1. The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
  2. The Lobotomist - Jack El-Hai - heftet() | Adlibris Bokhandel

The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness

Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M. Although many patients did not benefit from the thousands of lobotomies Freeman performed, others believed their lobotomies changed them for the better.

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Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer. One of the many virtues of El-Hai's text is the rich detail he provides about Freeman's life and ideas.


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  • Review: The Lobotomist by Jack El-Hai | Books | The Guardian?

His readers will thus be able to judge Walter Freeman for themselves and decide whether he is, as El-Hai would have it, "a maverick medical genius" or, as others have concluded, a moral monster.? Parts of The Lobotomist can best be read curled in a fetal position, but the reader would be well-advised to make the effort to wade through the relievedly short gruesome passages.

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For anyone interested in the science of mind and body, The Lobotomist is surely a reading must.? Louis C. Martin, Science and Theology News. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicin e, August The Guardian , June 11, New Statesman , June 17, According to freelance journalist El-Hai, Walter Freeman was "the most scorned physician of the twentieth century" except for Nazi Joseph Mengele. In this first biography, he deftly chronicles the rise and fall of Freeman and the procedure he championed.

Nearly 70 years ago, Freeman began refining lobotomy, in which a sharp instrument is inserted under the patient's eyelid and into the frontal lobes of the brain; this resulted in nerve damage that seemed to offer remarkable cures in many psychiatric patients.

The Lobotomist - Jack El-Hai - heftet() | Adlibris Bokhandel

Over time, the operation became widely adopted by the medical community and supported by mental health professionals, families, and many patients themselves. Yet there were always dissenters who attacked lobotomy as useless, cruel, or indeed criminal.

trainingalone.com/2742.php Freeman, in turn, spent his entire career performing, promoting, and justifying the operation-even after the development of drugs like chlorpormazine that offered the promise of "chemical" lobotomies. Freeman , who more than any other man was responsible for the development and popularity of lobotomy as a treatment for certain brain disorders in the middle part of the 20th Century. He personally performed thousands, traveled widely to demonstrate techniques that he pioneered, worked to secure a Nobel Prize for Egas Moniz, the Portuguese doctor from whom he adopted the idea, and wrote and lectured extensively in support of the procedure.

Though egotistical and driven in the manner of many such innovators and proselytizers, he was also good-humored enough to withstand the attacks of Freudians and surgeons who objected either to the theory or the actual implementation of his methods and though he was certainly seeking personal fame he also seems to have genuinely believed, with apparent good cause, that he was improving the lives of patients with mental disorders that so severely affected their lives that even radical intervention was worthwhile.

Thanks to various horror movies, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , urban legends about Frances Farmer , and other sorts of demonization, lobotomy is misremembered today as some sort of barbaric attempt to control people for political or social reasons.


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