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Fig 6.18 – Lobotomies

Text: Page 241

Moniz believed that thoughts, ideas, and feelings were stored in groups of connected cells in the brain. Mental illness was a result of a dysfunctional cellular connective system, especially in the frontal lobes. For Moniz and those that followed, lobotomies were the only effective way to destroy fixed cellular connections. Never mind that these intrusions into the brain left irreparable damage. In the final analysis, lobotomies served institutional, not individual treatment goals, because the patients became more docile, less psychotic, and more manageable. Moniz described lobotomies as “surgery of the soul.” Critics say it was really the soul of psychiatry, not the patient, that was trying to be saved. If they could speak, patients would say lobotomies were not surgeries of the soul but surgeries that removed their soul.

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