Lobotomy and psychosurgery
During the 1970s Dr. Breggin began his reform work by organizing an international campaign to stop the resurgence of lobotomy and other psychosurgery. For a period of several years, most of his time was spent on this campaign, which led to the creation of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology . The best summary of this effort can be found in his book, co-authored with Ginger Breggin, The War Against Children of Color .
Dr. Breggin distributed ten thousand copies of his article in the Congressional Record (PDF), which was copied and distributed in even greater numbers by other reformers around the world.
A key event occurred in 1973 at a trial in Detroit, Kaimowitz v. Department of Mental Health, in which a three-judge panel responded to an injunction by Gabe Kaimowitz to stop experimental psychosurgery at the state hospital. The court adopted Dr. Breggin's expert testimony at the trial and stopped the psychosurgery projects. Dr. Breggin's article " Psychosurgery for political purposes " provides the best description of the Kaimowitz victory. This court decision — as well as Dr. Breggin's media appearances, publications, lectures and lobbying in the U.S. Congress — resulted in state hospitals throughout the nation giving up the practice.
Among other victories aimed at stopping psychosurgery, Dr. Breggin wrote Congressional legislation aimed at ending federal funding of psychosurgery and successfully lobbied Congress for the creation of the Psychosurgery Commission, which declared the treatment experimental. Eventually most psychosurgery projects were stopped not only in state hospitals, but also at NIH, VA hospitals and university medical centers.
In June 2002 Dr. Breggin was the psychiatric expert in a psychosurgery case against the Cleveland Clinic that ended with a jury verdict of $7.5 million. After this, the Cleveland Clinic stopped performing the operation. Psychosurgery projects continue to be conducted at Harvard and Brown , but at few if any other places in the United States.

DocumentsDate added

Order by : Name | Date | Hits [ Descendent ]
file icon Brain-disabling therapies 01/12/2008
An overview of the risks of electroshock therapy, pyschosurgery, and psychiatric drugs. From The Psychosurgery Debate, E. Valenstein, ed. 1980.
file icon Campaigns against racist federal programs by the ICSPP 05/23/2008
file icon Lobotomies: an alert 01/15/2008

"Lobotomies: an alert," American Journal of Psychiatry 129:1 July 1972.

A letter alerting the psychiatric community to the upsurge in lobotomy and psychosurgery in the US and worldwide.

file icon Lobotomy: the brain-cutters return 01/15/2008
Documents the resurgence of psychosurgery in the early 1970s.
file icon Psychosurgery as brain-disabling therapy 01/28/2008
Many psychiatric authorities have condoned pyschosurgery precisely because the very principles that find their most extreme expression in lobotomy also find more subtle expression in all the major somatic treatments in psychiatry.
file icon Psychosurgery for political purposes 01/28/2008

"Psychosurgery for political purposes," Duquesne Law Review, Vol. 13 (1975).

Several of the nation's leading psychosurgeons have persistently linked their work to the control of urban violence, ghetto disorders and political dissent.

file icon Psychosurgery for the control of violence: a critical review 01/28/2008
Lobotomy and psychosurgery being used as on patients with neither brain disease nor epilepsy.
file icon The return of Lobotomy and Psychosurgery 01/29/2008

Congressional Record, February 24, 1972.

An alert to the Congress and the media of the resurgence of lobotomy and psychosurgery.

file icon The Second Wave 01/28/2008
We are witnessing a worldwide resurgence in lobotomy and psychosurgery.
file icon What cost Leukotomy? 01/29/2008

Am J Psychiatry 140:8, August 1983.

Dr. Breggin protests the publication of pieces promoting lobotomy.



Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems. In short, it is not only dangerous to start taking psychiatric drugs, it can also be dangerous to stop them. Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision. Methods for safely withdrawing from psychiatric drugs are discussed in Dr. Breggin's new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients, and Their Families.