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August 27, 1973

Medical News

JAMA. 1973;225(9):1035-1046. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220370001001

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Political overtones could obscure clinical issues in psychosurgery  The controversy over psychosurgery began among scientists, but the public is also becoming involved.Quite a few newspaper and magazine articles have been written on the subject, often with "scare" headlines, and frequently combining the discussion of psychosurgery with that of two other topics—human experimentation and the use of prisoners in clinical testing.Government is beginning to get involved, too, and as of now, the critics of psychosurgery have been far more effective in presenting their views, both before legislative committees and in the courts. The California legislature has held up funds for a proposed Center for the Study of Reduction of Violence, and the measures submitted to this term of Congress include both a House bill that would forbid psychosurgery and a Senate resolution calling for a moratorium on such operations (see stories on pages 1042 and 1044).The chief sponsor