S E M I N A R
Speaker : Dr. Sisir K Majumdar, Fellow, Royal Society of London, Founder-Director
( Majumdar Institute of History, Sociology and Philosophy of
Science and Health Sciences)
Title : Glimpses of the history of Psycho- Surgery : an Odyssey in Science
Venue : Seminar Room, Population Studies Unit, R.A. Fisher Bhavan, 5th Floor (Main building).
Date : 22nd May, 2009.( Friday)
Time : 2.00. P. M.
Psycho-surgery is the surgical treatment of patients with mental illness resistant to all available forms of conventional therapy. The origins of modern psycho-surgery go well back into the 19th Century but the actual surgery owes its origin to experiments in chimpanzees, carried out at Yale University, USA in the 1930’s. Prefrontal leucotomy was carried out by the Portuguese neuro-psychiatrist, Antonia Caetamo De Abrev Freire Egas Moniz in collaboration with his neuro-surgeon colleague Almeida Lima in Lisbon in 1936 on the first series of 20 patients. In the USA, two surgeons from Washington – Walter Freeman and James Watts, slightly modified Moniz and Lima’s operation ( Freeman - Watts Standard Lobotomy). The presentation traces the origin of psycho-surgery from antiquity to the contemporary period, assesses current status, explores its impact in different circles- psycho analysts, ethicists, the Press and the literati of the day.Development of modern psycho-pharmacology in 1950’s pushed psycho- surgery into oblivion almost to the point of extinction
All are cordially invited.
Convener ( D.Dutta Roy )