In his three-part series on psychosurgery in America entitled "Violence, Mental Illness and the Brain," my friend, Dr. Miguel Faria, has written one of the best published summaries on the history of neurosurgical treatment of psychiatric disorders by selective sectioning or abolition of specific parts of the behavioral brain.
Abstract — In the final installment to this three-part, essay-editorial on psychosurgery, we relate the history of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in humans and glimpse the phenomenal body of work conducted by Dr. Jose Delgado at Yale University from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Abstract — Knowledge of neuroscience flourished during and in the wake of the era of frontal lobotomy, as a byproduct of psychosurgery in the late 1930s and 1940s, revealing fascinating neural pathways and neurophysiologic mechanisms of the limbic system for the formulation of emotions, memory, and human behavior. The creation of the Klüver‑Bucy syndrome in monkeys opened new horizons in the pursuit of knowledge in human behavior and neuropathology.
Abstract — Psychosurgery was developed early in human prehistory (trephination) as a need perhaps to alter aberrant behavior and treat mental illness. The “American Crowbar Case" provided an impetus to study the brain and human behavior. The frontal lobe syndrome was avidly studied. Frontal lobotomy was developed in the 1930s for the treatment of mental illness and to solve the pressing problem of overcrowding in mental institutions in an era when no other forms of effective treatment were available. Lobotomy popularized by Dr.
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death.
Warning! If you have high blood pressure, consult your physician before reading Medical Warrior. Dr. Miguel Faria writes with such fervor and conviction about the looming dangers of a health-care system dominated by big government, big business, and big labor that people with medical problems may wish to read something far less provocative.
Dear Dr. Faria,
Written by two reporters, this book contains a wealth of information about the history and inner workings of the American Medical Association since its founding in 1847. It is divided into two parts. The first covers how the AMA is organized, the history of its development, its ongoing battle against compulsory health insurance, a description of its political action committee (AMPAC), and a discussion of its support for the business ethic. The second covers the AMA's response to health issues including alternative medicine, the tobacco problem, abortion, and the AIDS epidemic.
It will be of little avail ---- if the laws are so voluminous
that they can not be read or are so incoherent
that they can not be understood --- Or undergo
such incessant changes that no man who
knows the law today can guess what
it will be tomorrow.
The Federalist Papers.
Dr. Miguel A. Faria, Jr., who is a consultant neurosurgeon, Adjunct Professor of Medical History (1993-1996) at Mercer University School of Medicine, and editor-in-chief of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has combined astute political insight with his encyclopedic knowledge of history to create this unique blend of historical perspective and political commentary, with its emphasis on the history of medicine and medical ethics.
The Hippocratic Oath, Abortion, and the U.S. Supreme Court
Because of the recent decline in our health care system, today's physicians practice in a "medical gulag" and suffer from a "siege mentality." The reasons for this, as learned from examples in both ancient and recent history, are the topics for this unique collection of essays which are divided into five sections: "lessons from history"; "medical ecology"; "towards collectivism in medicine"; "the role of public health"; and "managed care, corporate socialized medicine and medical ethics." The author, Miguel A.
In matters of style, swim with the current;
in matters of principle, stand firm like a rock.
The Corporate Practice of Medicine
The physician should be contemptuous of money, interested in his work,
self-controlled, and just. Once he is possessed of these basic virtues,
he will have all others at his command as well.
Can the Medical Profession Survive Flexible Ethics?*
The crisis of American medicine is not tobacco, AIDS, silicone implants, the Gulf War Syndrome, breast or other forms of cancer, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, licensure, medical care for the poor, or any other specific medical or ethical issue. The crisis of American medicine is far greater than any one of these problems, indeed it is far greater than all of them combined, because the answers to these problems do not come from within them but from medical ethics.
*This article is excerpted from the Foreword of Dr. Prioreschi's latest volume (Vol. III --- Roman Medicine) of his A History of Medicine, released this year.(1)
Dr Pellegrino, professor of Medicine and Medical Humanities at Georgetown, is joined by Dr Thomasma, Professor of Medical Ethics at Loyola in Chicago, in reviewing the post-Hippocratic era, which has shaken and even dismantled portions of the ethics of Hippocrates. Pellegrino feels there have been more changes in medical ethics in the last two decades than in its twenty-five-hundred-year history. There is serious question about whether the medical profession can ever again be united under a common set of moral commitments.
America's founding principles have been subverted and our country is on a steady course toward socialism. Our four founding principles --- the rule of law, individual rights, the guarantee of private property, and a common American identity --- are being replaced by group rights, redistribution, entitlements, and multi-culturalism, and our entire Western culture is in serious jeopardy. This is the message Hungarian-born Balint Vazsonyi, a world renowned concert pianist and historian, brings us based on his encyclopedic knowledge of the past.
Vaccines --- Kill or Cure?
As the controversial debate over mandatory vaccine policy heats up igniting passions, it is perhaps appropriate we summarize what is known about the manifest benefits of modern vaccines, not forgetting the tremendously salutary impact on health and longevity wrought about by better living conditions, hygiene and sanitation, in general, and the introduction and subsequent widespread use of antibiotics, in particular.
I was recently asked to review The Nazi War on Cancer by Robert N. Proctor for Ideas on Liberty. What follows here is a more extended critique of this scholarly but deeply disturbing book.
In your excellent review of Robert N. Proctor's book, The Nazi War on Cancer (Medical Sentinel, November/December 2000), you postulate that the drop-off in stomach cancer in the earlier 20th Century was possibly related to better methods of meat curing and preservation.
The word hygiene comes from Hygeia, the Greek goddess of health (photo, below), who was the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution (c.1750-1850) and the discovery of the germ theory of disease in the second half of the nineteenth century, hygiene and sanitation have been at the forefront of the struggle against illness and disease.(1)
Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, there have been three major bubonic plague epidemics, which afflicted large segments of the population in the continuous Eurasian landmass and North Africa. Death quickly followed the trade routes of the times. The death toll is almost incomprehensible. The Plague of Justinian (6th Century A.D.), the Black Death (14th Century A.D.), and the Bubonic Plague (1665-1666, which coincided with the Great Fire of London) caused an estimated 137 million dead in a world much more sparsely populated than it is today.
In their guidelines for resolving conflict in cases of non-beneficial or futile medical treatment, the San Francisco Bay Area Network of Ethics Committee continues the disturbing trend of medicine moving toward collectivism and the ethics of distributive justice.(1,2)
Abstract: On June 30, 1559, King Henry II of France (1519-1559), against the advice of his court ministers, participated in a fateful joust. The wooden lance of his younger opponent pierced the King's headgear, shattered into fragments, and penetrated his right orbit and temple. The King survived for 11 days following the mortal wound and was treated by two of the most distinguished physicians of the Renaissance: Ambroise Paré (1510-1590), the master surgeon, and Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), the great anatomist.
Praised by Napoleon as "the worthiest man I ever met," Dominique-Jean Larrey (1766-1842), his legendary surgeon, was born in Beaudean, a little village in the Pyrenees. Orphaned at age 13, he was raised by his uncle, Alexis, who was chief surgeon at Toulouse. After studying and serving as his surgical apprentice for 6 years, Larrey went to Paris. There, he studied under the great French surgeon, Desault, who was Chief of Surgery at the Hotel Dieu. Unfortunately, his studies were interrupted when war came to France.
Throughout the ages, some physicians have had more than a passing interest in politics, justice, and the mechanics of government. For example, the illustrious American physician, Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), one of the fathers of American psychiatry and a highly esteemed physician in his own day, was also one of the 56 signatories of the Declaration of Independence.
In Part I of this essay, we discussed the secret epidemic of dengue fever, the Cuban gulag, and other aspects of Cuban medicine leading to a poor state of health in that Caribbean island, based on Dr. Dessy Mendoza Rivero's book ¡Dengue!-La Epidemia Secreta de Fidel Castro (Dengue! The Secret Epidemic of Fidel Castro).
Those in the United States who yearn for a more "egalitarian" and "equitable" system of medical care "like the one in Cuba" are not familiar with the extraordinary saga of Cuban physician Dr. Dessy Mendoza Rivero, who has managed to get the word out for anyone willing to listen. And they should. ¡Dengue!-La Epidemia Secreta de Fidel Castro (Dengue! The Secret Epidemic of Fidel Castro) is the title of his book and one that should be read attentively.