The Lobotomist with Jack El-Hai

8th May 2007

Jack El-Hai is the author of “The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and his Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness.” It traces the life of Dr. Walter Freeman (pictured above), who popularized the lobotomy. The technique was innovative in its time, but Freeman continued performing it long after more effective pharmaceutical treatments […]

Episode notes


Jack El-Hai is the author of “The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and his Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness.” It traces the life of Dr. Walter Freeman (pictured above), who popularized the lobotomy. The technique was innovative in its time, but Freeman continued performing it long after more effective pharmaceutical treatments were available. Nonetheless, Freeman was an innovator in treating the physical causes of mental illness.

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