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Walter Jackson Freeman
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    (November 14, 1895-May 31, 1972)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Modified the leucotomy developed by Egas Moniz into the trans-orbital lobotomy
    Performed over 3400 lobotomies in his career
    The trans-orbital lobotomy was also known as the 'ice pick lobotomy,' since it involved shoving a sharp ice-pick-like probe through the bony orbit at the rear of the eye socket, then swinging it around to cut neural connections.
    As you might guess, it was rather hit-or-miss whether you cut the desired neural pathways and improved the patient's condition or missed and left the patient a vegetable.
    He performed lobotomies despite having no formal surgical training.
    He did not wear gloves or a mask while performing lobotomies.
    A Veterans Administration psychiatrist complained that Freeman prescribed lobotomies to treat 'everything from delinquency to a pain in the neck.'
    He described the results of a lobotomy as 'a surgically induced childhood.'
    He called his van the 'lobotomobile.'
    An estimated 490 of his patients died from the surgery.
    In his senior year in college, he won the prize for best undergraduate research.
    While lecturing, he could draw different anatomical sketches with each hand simultaneously.
    He sincerely believed he was helping the mentally ill.
    He charged only $25 for a trans-orbital lobotomy.

Credit: C. Fishel

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