In 1960, a 12-year-old boy named Howard Dully was lobotomized by Walter Freeman in order to “cure” bad behavior that was alleged by his step-mother. Astonishingly, no psychosis or other serious mental illness was present in Dully, or even alleged, just bad behavior. Dully was just one of 18,000 Americans who were lobotomized over a 20 year period beginning after World War II. Freeman performed more than 2,500 of those lobotomies himself. Some 45 years later, Dully decided to find out everything he could about the procedure in general, and about his operation in particular. Among other things, he found a photograph of his lobotomy being performed, which is linked here to the right. The result was a fascinating and moving radio program called “My Lobotomy” which can be found on-line at the Sound Portraits website (see also the extensive NPR article).
As reported here two days ago, PBS television will be airing a new documentary about the Freeman called “The Lobotomist” on Monday, 21 January (on most stations) . You Tube has a copy of a 30-second excerpt for that show, which is embedded here.