Lobotomist: American Experience

Season 20, Episode 2 of 10

The lobotomy was hailed by The New York Times as a "surgery of the soul" and "history making," a groundbreaking medical procedure that promised hope to the most distressed families and desolate mentally ill patients. Championed by a young and ambitious neurologist named Walter J. Freeman, what began as an operation of last resort was soon being performed at some 50 state asylums, often with devastating results. Only a decade after his rise to fame, Freeman was decried as a moral monster and the lobotomy as one of the most barbaric mistakes of modern medicine. Through interviews with medical historians, psychiatrists who worked with Freeman and the desperate families who sought his help, this program tells the gripping tale of medical intervention gone awry. Campbell Scott narrates.

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