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American Experience: The Lobotomist

Campbell Scott
pentylenetetrazol | chlorpromazine | Sigmund Freud | Egas Moniz | Walter Jackson Freeman
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

This documentary outlines the career of Walter Freeman, MD, the most ardent proponent of lobotomy in the US, and his development of transorbital lobotomy, as alternatives to electroshock, insulin shock and Metrazol shock for treatment of some mental disorders.

Development of the procedure attributed to Egaz Moniz. (0:14)

Ellen Ionesco may have been the first person Freeman ever lobotomized using a transorbital approach.

Alice Hammett may have been the first person to undergo lobotomy in the U.S. (0:16)

Rose Kennedy becomes perhaps Freeman's most famous lobotomy patient. (0:23)

Discovery that chlorpromazine seems to address some of the same problems as lobotomy contributes rapidly to the demise of lobotomy. (0:44)