At age 12, Howard Dully's stepmother convinced psychiatrist and trans-orbital lobotomy pioneer, Walter Freeman, to lobotomize her stepson. I have no first-hand knowledge of this particular case, but in similar situations I would speculate about stepmother externalizing the problem (located in her own head) and then having it cut out surgically.
Now 56-years-old, here is Dully's moving account of his efforts to learn more about what actually happened. Mr. Dully was able to see his original medical file. He also interviews his father, the late psychiatrist's son and family members of other lobotomy patients.
The interview with Dully's father (beginning at 15:15 into Dully's report) offers a vivid picture of a man warding off the experience of guilt. Also interesting are the younger Mr. Dully's comments on the discussion with his father. He notes that his father does not take responsibility, yet he describes the opportunity to talk with his father about the lobotomy as "the happiest moment of my life."
Mr. Dully's book, My Lobotomy, will be released in September 2007 in the U.S. and in February 2008 in the UK.
Dully during the procedure.
Dully shortly after the 10 minute procedure.