Mysteries of Mental Illness

The Lobotomy

Clip | 5m 28s  | Video has closed captioning.

In 1936, neurologist Walter Freeman performed the first lobotomy in the U.S. It was widely seen as a miraculous intervention and a solution to saving some of the half-million mentally ill patients languishing in asylum 'hell holes'. The procedure soon became widespread and was even used for a member of the Kennedy family. But many lobotomies were performed on patients against their will.

Aired: 06/23/21

Rating: NR

Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning

Funding for Mysteries of Mental Illness is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Johnson & Johnson, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, and Draper, and through the support of PBS viewers.

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