Skip to comments.The Lobotomy Files:Forgotten Soldiers(Part 1)
Posted on 01/04/2014 7:12:44 AM PST by TurboZamboni
Roman Tritzs memories of the past six decades are blurred by age and delusion. But one thing he remembers clearly is the fight he put up the day the orderlies came for him.
They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy, says Mr. Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot. To hell with them.
The orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned Mr. Tritz to the floor, he recalls. He fought so hard that eventually they gave up. But the orderlies came for him again on Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a few weeks before his 30th birthday.
This time, the doctors got their way.
The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veteransand likely hundreds moreduring and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.
(Excerpt) Read more at projects.wsj.com ...
A family member born I think about 1940, was hit with what we now belief was bi-polar disorder in his college years. They used Thorazine and shock treatment and basically lobotomized him without surgery. He went around in a daze most of his adult life. Sad. A brilliant man but the cure for his disorder made him a zombie.
Fascinating article -Thanks!
Notice the crafty response” When told about the program recently, the VA issued a written response: In the late 1940s and into the 1950s, VA and other physicians throughout the United States and the world debated the utility of lobotomies. The procedure became available [just available] to severely ill patients who had not improved with other treatments. Within a few years, the procedure disappeared [explicitly stating removal, versus use] within VA, and across the United States, as safer and more effective treatments were developed.
Sad. Survives 35 missions only to spend the rest of his life fighting mental illness.
The Government doing that was, in my opinion, a crime
That was the most painful article I have read in a long time.
However, I think it is fair to point out that for at least 20 years the procedure was considered a “miracle treatment,” with its developer receiving a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1951.
IOW, the VA wasn’t performing shady or improper treatments, they were treating patients in compliance with state of the art medical consensus of the day.
Which should, but probably won’t, cause us to look skeptically at popular trends of our own time.
It was very sad indeed.
Yes,20/20 hindsight certainly suggests that.But for a while during the 50's lobotomies were very strongly accepted by the highest echelons of American medicine...just as leeches (for every known ailment) were highly regarded about 600 years ago.
In the late 1930's, Dr. Freeman was one of the first Americans to perform a transorbital lobotomy, in which holes are drilled in the patient's head. In 1946 he devised a faster and more efficient procedure, the prefrontal, or "ice pick," lobotomy, in which a spike is driven beneath the lids of both eyes and then swirled around in a sort of eggbeater motion to scramble the neural connections. ..he sometimes used a carpenter's mallet instead of a surgical hammer and sometimes wielded two hammers at once, cracking both eye sockets simultaneously. The whole process took less than 10 minutes...
His most famous patient was President John F. Kennedy's sister Rosemary, whom he lobotomized in 1941 when she was 23 and who required full-time care until her death this year. - http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/16/arts/16lobo.html?_r=0
Leeches are still in use today. Some in the medical field, but mostly in Washington DC.
Oh,the entire Rat Party is made up of leeches of one sort or another.As for medicine,a world famous hand surgeon who was on the staff of the hospital for which I once worked used leeches on at least some of his patients.
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