December 17th, 2013

Wall Street Journal: 2,000 WWII Vets lobotomized by VA

War is Hell. And for some, the Hell outlives the war. Read this heart-wrenching accounting of some of the two thousand World War II Veterans who were lobotomized at the VA after fighting in the war. Compiled by the Wall Street Journal.




Wall Street Journal: 2,000 WWII Vets lobotomized by VA

From this link:

I have selected only two brief passages from the article and pasted them below, but would suggest reading the whole article  at the WSJ site for all the extra features and photographs. Just click the link above.


Elias Alias, editor

Now 88, Dr. Merrell remains troubled by his role in Mr. Tritz’s case, the only lobotomy he recommended before leaving the VA. “Looking back at it, it was a terrible thing that came out of the psychiatric medical field at the time,” he says of lobotomy. “But it did allow for control of hospital patients—aggressive, combative patients—without having to hurt them.” (snip)

In 1953 a neurosurgeon at the Roseburg, Ore., VA hospital sought to test whether the operation had a real or placebo effect. He cut holes in the skulls of four mentally ill veterans and although he didn’t touch their brains, he told them afterward that they had had lobotomies. The surgeon reported that none showed “even slight improvement.”

It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the VA finished a five-year study of 373 veterans. Half were given lobotomies and the rest served as experimental controls. But by the end of the study, many of the test subjects were taking new antipsychotic drugs, muddling the conclusions. (snip)
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2 Responses to “Wall Street Journal: 2,000 WWII Vets lobotomized by VA”

  1. 1
    Carol Lawrence Says:

    In the 1950’s they were doing this procedure, not only the VA but private hospitals.
    It was terrible that that doctors were doing this procedure on people without their consent, but that is what the doctors were doing. There was almost no medication for mental illness during that time. The fact is that the doctors knew very little about the brain. Horrible so called treatments.

  2. 2
    Bob Fanning Says:

    Joe Kennedy had it done to his own teen age daughter Rose Mary without knowledge or consent from her mother Rose. Surprise! Moral of the story Doctors aren’t God …..even if they do strut around acting like Him.

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