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Introduction One Flew Over the Cockoos Nest presents a flashing array of images and scenes that are impossible to ignore and impossible to forget One particular scene where Jack Nicholson is being led to bed with a marring scar on his forehead is among the most socially disturbing For we find it hard to believe that humanity had scrambled the brains of those who could not live within the confines of society Nicholsons character received a pre-frontal lobotomy No other medical procedure has been as denounced and renowned at the same time A precursor to modern-day psychiatry the frontal lobotomy radically changed the way we view the mind-body problem In addition it changed the way we viewed the mentally insane the medical community and more importantly ourselves In the height of the lobotomy surgeons were merely playing a guessing game The frontal-lobotomy was an evolutionary back-step and further psychosurgical guessing games can only catapult the psychological field into an age of medical animism Psychosurgery poses serious ethical and societal implications far beyond our comprehension Background Psychosurgery is characterized as a procedure designed to alter disordered mental states by removing destroying or severing apparently healthy brain tissue Selensick 254 It is construed in this way to distinguish it from brain surgery where the immediate object of surgical intervention is seen as the removal or treatment of some diseased or damaged portion of the brain A concrete example of brain surgery is the removal of a brain tumor This procedure seeks to eliminate an abnormality in the brain tissues with little or no emphasis on psychological improvement Few ethical questions arise when removing damaged tissues However the frontal lobotomy sought to change disordered behaviors through structural damages to healthy tissue in the brain Although abstract an obvious distinction forms when the two procedures are compared One problem in the definition does arise when diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons are considered No apparent anatomical abnormality
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