I. Introduction:Lobotomy or Leucotomy, an operation to treat mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Lobotomy consists of cutting the nerve fibers that connect the frontal lobe to the rest of the brain. It is rarely performed because of severe side effects such as seizures, incontinence, and undesirable personality changes.
It has been widely replaced by the use of psychotherapy and chemotherapy. In the 1930’s, Portuguese physician Egas Moniz developed what became the best known psychosurgical operation: the Lobotomy. Moniz found that cutting nerves connecting the frontal lobes with the emotion- controlling centers of the inner brain calmed uncontrollably emotional and violent patients. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, tens of thousands of severely disturbed people were “lobotomized”, and Moniz was honoured with a Nobel Prize (Kozier, 2004).
Although the intention was to simply disconnect emotion from thought, the effect was often more drastic: the Lobotomy produced a permanently lethargic, immature, impulsive personality. During the 1950’s, when calming drugs became available, psychosurgery was largely abandoned. Today, lobotomies are very rarely performed. Other psychosurgery is used only in extreme cases. For example, if a patient suffers uncontrollable seizures, surgeons can deactivate the specific nerve clusters that cause or transmit the convulsions. Because such beneficial operations are irreversible, however, neurosurgeons perform them only as a last resort (Drane, 1994).The effectiveness of the biomedical therapies reminds us of a fundamental lesson.
We find it convenient to talk separate psychological and biological influences, but everything psychological is biological. Every thought and feeling depends on the functioning of the brain. Every creative idea, every momentof joy or anger, every period of depression emerges from the electrochemical activity of the brain.II. Discussion:a. History:It was in Switzerland when Dr.
Gottlieb Burckhardt did an operation to a number of patients where in the segments of the frontal lobe were detached. The patients were thought to be mentally ill and were confined to a mental hospital. There was one casualty in the operation while others were discovered in nearby river days after the incident. The other mentally ill patients displayed a changed in their character. The aforementioned experiments, gave rise to the discovery of psychosurgery (Kozier, 2004).It was then Antonio Egas Moniz in 1935s also doctor started to discover the operation named prefrontal leucotomy. The operation was very horrible because for it to be successfully done, the surgeons should first drill holes in the heads of the patient’s.
It also can lead to the undoing of the frontal lobes when they will shot alcohol. Moniz then restructured the procedure using leucotome that is being used to disintegrate the tissues of the brain which then has a wire loop that is retractable. This discovery gave great honours for Moniz where in 1949 he had a big break and was able to won a Nobel Prize award (Myers, 1993).Then in 1936, a neurologist got so envious and was thrilled by Moniz discovery. They were James W. Watts and Walter Freeman.
Freeman with the assistance of Watts did the same operation in United States (Kozier, 2004).They revised the procedure where in they called it as Freeman- Watts’s technique. It was still the same with Moniz procedure like holes should drilled in the head. The two psychiatrists conceived that the operation can be sometimes not within the reach of those who really are required of it. What they were referring were those who were admitted in the mental institution with out any rooms for operation, so doctors for surgeries and of course no financial resources. They wanted to modify the technique and operation so that it would then be possible that it could be done in public mental hospitals with thousands of mentally ill patients in it (Mehr, 1983).It was chosen by Freeman to reach the frontal lobes not by drilling holes in the heads but this time, by using the eye sockets. He will be using ice picks then.
He first tested this procedure by using dead bodies. It was then called “transorbital lobotomy”, the eyelids should be held up and the used the leucotome below the eyelids and within the above of the eye socket (Higgins, 1995).In driving the leucotome a hammer was being utilized. It will be directed to the sides of the lobes then to other parts of the brain. In other patients, the border of the leucotome is held in the higher direction while the very head is inside the brain that will then give a deep cut in the frontal lobes; this is a new way of performing lobotomy. Leucotome will then be ejected and it will be done to the other side of the lobe.
Transorbital lobotomy was done Freeman in an alive patient. This technique was widely used and commonly used procedure in mental hospitals that do not have any supply of anesthesia at all. It was then decided by Freeman to use and integrate electroconvulsive therapy (Benjamin et al., 1990).Issues regarding lobotomy started to spread rapidly after it. Many nations and countries dislike and withdrew their support for the said operation. It was legalized in countries such as Finland, Norway, UK, Spain, India, Belgium and Sweden and other U.S.
centers but it was not given total freedom and it was limited.The United States established a Committee which protects the human subjects of any researches and operations to dif further on the issues concerning lobotomy. The operation was overwhelmed with many issues and concerns. It was examine thoroughly by many authorities, which includes the pros and cons of the procedure. The usage of this procedure then decline in 1970’s although some countries continued doing it in secret (Brunner & Suddarith, 1983).
b. Scale:This operation was widely practiced in U.S.
They were almost hundred thousands of people were made well. United Kingdom had also done lobotomy on almost 20,000 people and almost all of them were successfully treated (Mehr, 1983).c.
Cases:Many renowned and distinguished figures had had lobotomy done with them. These were Rosemary Kennedy, who was the sister of President John F. Kennedy. Lobotomy was done to her because of her mood swings. It was Freeman who operated Ms.
Kennedy. Janet Frame, who was an author and a poet; was about to have her lobotomy because of her diagnosis of having a mental illness. This was not realized because before the day of her operation, she received an award. Alys Robi, who was a singer in 1940’s. The operation was prescribed for her due to the violence.
She was then confined at Quebec’s mental asylum and after the successful she continued her singing career. Lastly, Dully, Howard; he had his lobotomy at age 12 because of his step mother who had no details of the operation at all (Wagman, 1985).III. Conclusion:Although lobotomy faced a number of criticisms, it still has a positive effect.
In one way or another it has helped other mentally ill and disturbed patients. It treated them and gave them the opportunity to continue to live their normal lives. Yes, the operation was that horrible as anyone could think but amidst the procedure is a goal to alleviate and give exact treatments of different patients with different cases. Lobotomy is not just prescribed to mentally ill patients but also to those who thought of themselves as harm to others and has the attitude that even their mothers could not bear (Hughes, 1978).
Moniz should always be given the pride and recognition, for without his intelligence and contribution in the field of psychiatry and psychosurgery; any treatments like lobotomy for example would be then realized. Freeman should also be given the credit for modifying the procedure in order not to violate and abuse the totality and sacredness of the body of the concerned individual/ patient.Lobotomy may be physically detrimental but it is psychologically helpful.
In order for one to be made well and normal, one should consider the sacrifices he/ she should experienced or go through. Lobotomy aims at making the person normal again with no disturbances in the mental aspect and there will be no violence or harm to self involved (Meltzer, 1999). References:Benjamin, L. T., et al. (1990).
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