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Walter J Freeman, US neurologist

Walter J Freeman, US neurologist

H406/0235

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Credit

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Walter J Freeman (1895-1972), American neurologist and psychiatrist and inventor of the 'ice-pick lobotomy'. Freeman performed America's first lobotomy on 14th September 1936, with his neurosurgeon colleague James Watts. Freeman popularised the lobotomy performing thousands, with varying results, including many on his own although he lacked any surgical qualifications. He invented a new technique for trans-orbital (front entry) lobotomies that could be carried out in minutes, severing the frontal lobes from the rest of the brain by entering through the tear ducts. His methods and advocation of use for all mentally ill patients drew great criticism, and he was discredited before his death.

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