The Lobotomist

Director: PBS
Year: 2008
Country: USA
Duration: 60 mins
Rating: N/A

Filed under: Psychiatry, Documentary

For several decades during the last century, the surgical procedure known as lobotomy was widely practiced in mental institutions and doctors offices across the nation as a cure for severe mental illnesses, including depression, aggressive and erratic behavior. The surgery, which was essentially the insertion of a long needle into the patients eye sockets and then into their brain's frontal lobes, took just a few minutes, but forever altered their lives. They were calmer, sure--but they also lost physical and mental function. Many became childlike, some later revered to their symptomatic behavior. Several died. This is a film documentary about Dr. Walter Freeman, who pioneered first the lobotomy. (Aired PBS, Monday January 21 2008, 21:00 ET)

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This Biomedical Ethics Film Library is being presented in partnership with European Medical Students' Association (EMSA)