December 12, 2013, - 3:45 pm
After World War II, the federal government forcibly lobotomized 2,000 American military men and women who served. It’s a scary omen of what’s to come under ObamaCare, as the government takes on more and more big brother control of our healthcare. Today’s Wall Street Journal has an outrageous two-page-long story beginning on the front page. What it describes isn’t just a nightmare. It’s reality, and don’t be surprised if it ultimately becomes the kind of reality to which we are all subject when ObamaCare is fully implemented. The men who served and were lobotimized mostly ended up predictably as vegetables or as adults with the minds and functionality of children.
Watch the video . . .
Below is a taste–a taste of what happens when government is in charge of your healthcare. No, it’s not a frightening episode of “The Twilight Zone.” It’s a frightening preview of 2014 ObamaCare and beyond. This happened then–when the Veterans Administration ran the healthcare for soldiers arriving back home from World War II. It can happen when the entire government runs your healthcare. It’s shameful and disgusting–the government took lives from the men who served and sentenced them to live befuddled and unable to be independent and care for themselves for the rest of their time on earth. And it’s a harbinger of things to come under ObamaCare. Bet on it.
Roman Tritz’s memories of the past six decades are blurred by age and delusion. But one thing he remembers clearly is the fight he put up the day the orderlies came for him. “They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” says Mr. Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot. “To hell with them.” The orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned Mr. Tritz to the floor, he recalls. He fought so hard that eventually they gave up. But the orderlies came for him again on Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a few weeks before his 30th birthday. This time, the doctors got their way.
The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals. . . .
The VA’s practice, described in depth here for the first time, sometimes brought veterans relief from their inner demons. Often, however, the surgery left them little more than overgrown children, unable to care for themselves. Many suffered seizures, amnesia and loss of motor skills. Some died from the operation itself. Mr. Tritz, 90 years old, is one of the few still alive to describe the experience. “It isn’t so good up here,” he says, rubbing the two shallow divots on the sides of his forehead, bracketing wisps of white hair.
The VA’s use of lobotomy, in which doctors severed connections between parts of the brain then thought to control emotions, was known in medical circles in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and is occasionally cited in medical texts. . . . Between April 1, 1947, and Sept. 30, 1950, VA doctors lobotomized 1,464 veterans at 50 hospitals authorized to perform the surgery, according to agency documents rediscovered by the Journal. Scores of records from 22 of those hospitals list another 466 lobotomies performed outside that time period, bringing the total documented operations to 1,930. Gaps in the records suggest that hundreds of additional operations likely took place at other VA facilities. The vast majority of the patients were men, although some female veterans underwent VA lobotomies, as well. . . .
Mr. Tritz was the son of a Wisconsin dairy farmer who flew a B-17 Flying Fortress on 34 combat missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe. “They just wanted to ruin my head, it seemed to me,” says Mr. Tritz. “Somebody wanted to.” . . . Mr. Tritz and the mentally ill veterans who shared his fate lived a struggle all but unknown except to the families who still bear lobotomy’s scars. . . . During eight years as a patient in the VA hospital in Tomah, Wis., Mr. Tritz underwent 28 rounds of electroshock therapy, a common treatment that sometimes caused convulsions so jarring they broke patients’ bones. Medical records show that Mr. Tritz received another routine VA treatment: insulin-induced temporary comas, which were thought to relieve symptoms. . . . When all else failed, there was lobotomy. . . .
In a standard lobotomy, a surgeon pulled back the forehead skin, sawed two holes in the skull and inserted a rotating tool or spatula-like knife. The surgeon then severed pathways between the prefrontal area behind the forehead, and the rest of the brain. These fibers were thought by practitioners to promote excessive and compulsive emotions.
Dr. [Walter] Freeman, the neurologist who popularized lobotomies, also pioneered a more controversial technique in which he hammered an ice pick beneath the upper eyelid, through the thin bone of the eye socket and into the brain. He would make the cuts by toggling the pick.
This is only a snippet of the story. You must read the whole thing. There are going to be more articles in the series in this week’s Wall Street Journal.
While I know that the doctors and surgeons involved thought, at the time, that lobotomies were the best way to treat various mental illnesses–that was some of the science then–it quickly became anachronistic medicine, and these military vets’ lives were taken away from them. The lobotomies were done against their will, their lives destroyed, all because they were willing to risk their lives in service to America.
That’s what happened when the government controlled their healthcare. Imagine what will happen when it controls ours.
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