Personal story of lobotomy

howard_dully.jpgPublic radio station NPR has an interview with Howard Dully, who received a lobotomy when he was only 12 years old from controversial psychosurgery champion Walter Freeman.

Dully is shown on the left, holding one of Freeman’s operating tools that was used to punch through the bone just behind the eyes and sever the connections to the frontal lobes.

freeman.jpgFreeman (pictured right) was a complex character, as previously reported on Mind Hacks, who performed hundreds of lobotomies during his career.

Although psychosurgery is still performed to treat seemingly untreatable mental disorder, its use is now rare, unlike when it was championed for almost all forms of mental distress. It is still as controversial now as it was when it was in its heyday, however.

The inventor of the procedure, Egas Moniz, won a Nobel Prize for his work, now much to the embarrassment of many in the scientific community. This was only a few years before he was shot and paralysed by one of his ex-patients who resented Moniz’s work.

The website has a wealth of information about the procedure and its originators, including an excellent history entitled “Adventures with an Ice Pick“.

Link to webpage on NPR programme “My Lobotomy” (via BoingBoing).
mp3 of programme audio.
Link to


  1. Posted November 23, 2005 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    truly is the most powerful radio i’ve heard in ages. makes me love npr more and thank them for sharing things over the net. go. go and listen to it now!

  2. Howard Dully
    Posted January 28, 2007 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I want to thank all those who have listened to my story.
    Howard Dully

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