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January 28, 1974


Author Affiliations

San Mateo, Calif

JAMA. 1974;227(4):438-439. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230170054018

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To the Editor.—  The article by Mark and Neville in The Journal (226:765, 1973) on brain surgery in aggressive epileptics is followed by the editorial by Ricketts, commenting upon the new psychosurgery.I think it is quite interesting that this article is written by a surgeon and by a nonpsychiatrist who is affiliated with a department of behavioral science. There is no psychiatrist mentioned in this article. Near the conclusion it reads, "Brain scientists need the help of philosophers, ethicists, theologians, social scientists, lawmakers, and jurists working in concert." There is no mention of psychiatrists who are physicians and who are most frequently involved in the study of violence. I question the validity of neurosurgery having a social role. Psychological and emotional consequences secondary to neurosurgical intervention in anybody's brain are quite likely. I can understand the use of neurosurgery for the treatment of anatomical and pathological disorders for the