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Old 08-20-2003, 02:44 PM
luvtinayothers luvtinayothers is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 154
DO they still perform lobotomies in these countries?

I read that lobotomies are still being performed in Japan, Australia, Sweden and India.
Is this discredited form of psychosurgery really being practiced in such progressive countries?
Old 08-21-2003, 06:24 PM
Iteki Iteki is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sweden based Dubliner
Posts: 1,882
What is referred to as "modern lobotomy" is performed about 7 times a year in Sweden at the request of patients who have been unable to benefit from any other available treatments. From the articles I looked at it seemed to be mainly people with really extreme OCD behaviour. The difference in the "modern" variant is that it is the severing of specific nerve connections rather than the complete severence of a lobe.

However about 4,500 people were lobotomised in Sweden between the mid-40s and mid-60s, many in really dodgey circumstances that have come to light recently in investigations. Could that be what was referred to in the article you read?
Old 08-21-2003, 06:26 PM
susan susan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Coastal USA
Posts: 8,694
The sort of lobotomy Iteki refers to is also performed in the US for people with extreme OCD that is not responsive to medication. It is never performed against the patient's will.
Old 08-21-2003, 09:11 PM
Wiwaxia Wiwaxia is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Sweden
Posts: 52
The method used in Sweden, which Iteki refers to, is called capsulotomy, and it is misleading to conceptualise it as "modern lobotomy" since it bears no resemblance to the old frontal lobotomy that is well known among the public. Capsulotomy is cutting off a tract (a nerve fibre bundle) in a small structure in the brain called Interna capsula. Formerly it was done by knife or laser, but now it is done by interrupting the circuitry electronically, which also means it is reversible in case the patient does not benefit from the treatment, or has unwanted side effect. The criteria the patient must fulfill to be considered for capsulotomy includes having failed improvement with behavioural therapy pharmacotherapy, and a history of >5 years of psychiatric care for OCD.

About once a year, some tabloid press reporter will ring the hospital and ask "is it true that you still perform lobotomy?"...
Old 08-22-2003, 05:23 PM
luvtinayothers luvtinayothers is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 154
The article I read went into the gruesome and gory details of the old icepick lobotomies
of the 30's and 40's and then ended with:

"The original lobotomy operation is now rarely performed, if ever, although many
countries still accept psychosurgery as a form of radical control
of violent behavior (Japan, Australia, Sweden and India are among them)"


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