After World War II, many veterans suffered post-traumatic stress and other mental illnesses. Now, long-buried documents have come to light that reveal how nearly 2,000 of these soldiers who were given lobotomies in VA hospitals. They were sent home to their families with this "care" pamphlet.
Photo of doctors examining a lobotomy patient via The George Washington University.
Today the Wall Street Journal published a powerful investigative article by Michael Phillips about those lost veterans. After uncovering evidence in a veterans archive of the now-discredited lobotomy treatment, Phillips was able to find one man, Roman Tritz who had survived it and lived a relatively independent life — though he continues to suffer the same paranoid delusions that made doctors perform the lobotomy in the first place. His story is tragic, and reminds us that one generation's cutting-edge psychiatric treatment is the next generation's horror story.