Mastering the Art of Medicine

“Whenever a doctor cannot do good, he must be kept from doing harm.”      ~Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine

During the 1930s, one of  the most striking medical innovations was a relatively simple surgical procedure. This procedure involved severing nerve fibers of the frontal lobes of the brain. It was called the transorbital lobotomy. It was first introduced into the United States by Dr. Walter Freeman of the George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C.. This was without comparison the most radical therapeutic procedure ever developed in psychiatry. In its day, this was considered a proper course of treatment. Today, we look back and we recoil. Dr. Freeman, in the last few years of his life, went around the country seeking out patients and trying to grasp the effects of his actions. Perhaps he was trying to prove that his efforts were not in vain.  Perhaps he was trying to redeem himself in either the eyes of his patients, his profession, or himself even. While we may look back now and say that this practice was barbaric, for all we know that course of action may have simply reflected the best knowledge of the time. Perhaps we can safely say that one generations wisdom is another generations horror. But one thing is certain, that it is an ever-evolving process. I have here a video that may offer some interesting insight.

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