Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Man is certainly no poorer as an experimental animal merely because he can talk.”

Luke Dittrich on the career of his famous psychosurgeon grandfather, Dr. William Scoville of Yale:

"While researching my grandfather’s career as a lobotomist, it struck me that a great majority of the people he lobotomized were women. When you consider that the side effects of the lobotomy — tractability, passivity, docility — overlap nicely with what many men considered to be ideal feminine traits, that disparity is perhaps not surprising. Doesn’t mean it’s not horrifying, though."

His new book is called Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets.

You can read an alarming excerpt in The New York Times Magazine.  (You can read about the ensuing furor in Stat.)

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