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Books, Journals, New Media
December 9, 1998

PsychosurgeryLast Resort: Psychosurgery and the Limits of Medicine

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1998;280(22):1963. doi:10.1001/jama.280.22.1963-JBK1209-5-1

Joe Kennedy's family was in Europe, all except the patriarch himself and his daughter Rosemary. Reaching puberty, she discovered boys, and, being mildly mentally retarded, she behaved in ways that embarrassed Joe. He asked around about what to do and arranged a lobotomy. The results were catastrophic. He sent her to a Catholic institution in Wisconsin, where she remains today.

Kennedy told the family her condition had deteriorated and she would be adversely affected by their visits. Therefore, nobody visited. He never mentioned the lobotomy until years later.

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