10 Reasons Lobotomies Are Presently Being Used



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10 Last Resort

As one source states, “They’re still practiced today, and completely legal in the United States.” (Source, 2) However, the term lobotomy faded as procedures began to become more maladaptive and the word “lobotomy,” creates a poor connotation. Lobotomies are now referred to as psychosurgery or Sterotactic cingulotomy and are only justified for those who are at their “last resort”.They are performed across the world and within America, but only, as a last resort. It is reserved for people who have no other options and severing specific areas of the brain might actually benefit the individual. (Source, 2, 3)

9 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Findings show that lobotomies could offer some relief. OCD is one of the worlds leading mental illness and is accompanied by depression and higher risks for suicide. Lobotomies for OCD are carried out more commonly than many other ailments. Of course, they use equipment to directly focus on specific portions of the brain. (Source 4, 5, 7)

8 Chronic Pain

Do you have pain that has lasted for longer than 6 months? Does it continue to get more drastic in nature? Well, you could be a candidate for a lobotomy. (psychosurgery, cingulotomy, stereotactic cingulotomy are all forms of lobotomy) Before an operation other avenues of relief must be taken. This is done to ensure that this is the the “last resort”. Yet, if pain persists, a lobotomy can always be an option. (Source 6)

Patients who have received this treatment report relief from pain, and “an improved quality of life.” (Source 6) Addmiting, not all patients are completely relieved of pain, but they do report that they have less anxiety, and their distress level is lowered. (Source 6)

7 Cancer

Many people have to battle cancer. This can be a tricky item to deal with. Some clinician’s may suggest lobotomies because it could (A now very careful procedure) relieve cancer patient’s of their pain. In addition, it gives the person who is suffering some emotional relief. This is generally performed on cancer patients that are terminal. The pain is reported to decreases an average of 30% – 90%. (7)

6 Aggressive Behavior

Jimenez et al (2012) conducted a study in Mexico involving 26 patients who were categorized as having overtly aggressive behavior. The patients were subjected to Mexico’s board of ethics and ten patients were selected to undergo lobotomies. (finely turned lobotomies- much more precise) The studies indicated that the patients who underwent surgery were not as prone to violence.  (7)

7 Depression

In this modern era where Antidepressants are readily available to treat depression. Thus, it may be shocking to discover that in our present day, lobotomies are also conducted to relieve depression. However, it should be stressed, this is for the most severe cases. In a highly revered, published, academic journal (2008) (Source, 9) 16 patients who suffered from depression underwent limbic leucotomy. (fancy way of saying lobotomy but to clarify- it is much more accurate) These 9 patients were followed for 7 years. “There were no surgical mortality,” (Source, 9) and only two suffered from ‘minor’ complications. The index used to score depression showed that they were alleviated from many of their symptoms. (Source, 9)


8. Seizures (Epilepsy)

Lobotomies are performed on people who do not react to medication and suffer from seizures. It requires that a person be on at least two medications. If there are continual problems than a lobotomy is an option. 50% to 80% of those who receive this surgery have less complications with seizures. In fact, there are cases where the seizures dissipate all together. However, there are also cases where it was recommended for a second surgery. Some people can take one anti-seizure medication for a year, stop it, and live normal, productive lives. It depends on the person. (10)

9 Parkinson’s Disease

Many studies in the 1980’s justify “lobotomy” like treatments for Parkinson’s. This is no longer the protocol. Nevertheless, invasive treatment is used in surgical procedures on the brain. During this procedure fetal tissue grafting (cells from the fetus are placed in the brain) occurs. This is a very controversial issue.

10 Techniques Have Advanced

“With the probe in place, the surgeon fires up a laser, burning away tissue until the beam has hollowed out about half a teaspoon of grey matter.” (Source, 8)

The procedures are much more advanced and allow doctors to target tissue in the brain that they believe is directly linked to the problem. OCD, for example, is thought to be located in about a dozen places and by burning holes in these exact areas, the claims are that  relief is given. However, this is only done as a last resort. Doctor’s no longer use the word lobotomy. They have advanced technology that allows to accurately focus on parts of the brain that may cause trouble for the individual. (Source, 8)