Late Twentieth Century view of Lobotomy
In the early 1950s, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, and others began finally to speak against the lobotomy procedure. With ethical and medical objections accumulating - barely one third of procedures had any positive effect - the procedure fell out of favor quickly. The development of new psychiatric medications such as Thorazine helped to hasten this process.
Use of the lobotomy procedure gradually decreased throughout the 1960s and 1970s; however lobotomies were performed in the 1980s in Belgium, France, the U.K., and the U.S. In a small number of countries the procedure is still carried out very occasionally.
During the twentieth century nearly 40,000 people were lobotomized in the United States alone, with a further 17,000 people in Britain and around 9,000 in Scandinavia. The results, for people who underwent the procedure, as well as their families, were tragic. For a full one third of patients, the lobotomy had absolutely no effect, and for another third, symptoms actually grew worse. The lobotomy procedure is now known as “one of the most barbaric mistakes ever perpetrated by mainstream medicine.” (American Experience)