Doctor who invented lobotomy Kennedy

Rosemary Kennedy: The President's "flawed" sister who had a lobotomy to recover

January 16, 2017 • By Barbara

The whole world knows the Kennedies. Her entry into the White House and the tragic epilogue that marked the end of John Fitzgerald's presidency. We certainly know a lot about family, but there is one fact that almost no one was aware of. It affects Rosemary, the third of nine children of the Kennedies. You may never have seen her face because she has always been hidden. Not only that, she eventually underwent a lobotomy, even though she did not a serious intellectual disability would have.

Rosemary wasn't disabled. The medical professionals who performed the brain surgery incorrectly made this claim.

The young woman had a mild learning disability due to a medical error during childbirth. The doctor who was supposed to accompany the birth appeared late, causing the fetus to suffer from oxygen damage.

As the mother said in an interview, Rosemary was slow in her movements, some actions she could not perform at all, reading and writing was very difficult for her. She wrote from right to left.

At school, she did not interact with classmates: the only people she had a loving bond with were brothers Joseph and John.

The father, Joe Kennedy, turned to a doctor he trusted and received medical advice. The woman ended the conversation by recommending that she be instructed immediately.

Rose Fitzgerald wrote in a letter: "I was shocked by this news. Like any mother, I would have wanted my daughter to live in peace and health. Instead, I had to endure the shock that my daughter was severely disabled."

Nobody finally examined the actual health of the young girl. And no one revolted against the father's decision to have her undergo a frontal brain lobotomy, which at the time was considered the medical treatment of choice in such a case. Rosemary Kennedy was only 23 years old.

Joe Kennedy feared that his daughter's mental disability could harm his political career.

After the operation, Rosemary began an endless journey through numerous recovery and rehab facilities. The family's visits became less and less frequent until finally nobody came to visit. Rosemary's father had the nerve to lie to her when, in a half-awake moment, she asked what had happened to her. He told her that the doctors performed the procedure without his knowledge and that he and their brothers were banned from entering the clinic.

The young Kennedy also received special treatment in her dormitory: the others were accompanied to the cinema or into town at the weekend. You don't. It had to remain closed as much as possible so that it would not be discovered by journalists.

Rosemary Kennedy died in 2005 at the age of 86 after being alone for about 60 years. Her parents have left her and her siblings followed the father's command not to profess her.

It was the Portuguese neurosurgeon Egas Moniz who performed the lobotomy: she had previously practiced it on monkeys and thus created sweeter and calmer characters.

For Doctor Moniz, the lobotomy was a justified practice for all diseases that provoke aggressive behavior, such as schizophrenia.

In the beginning, the operation was called a prefrontal lobotomy. It was performed by puncturing the skull with a metal tube, which was then moved to remove white matter from the frontal lobe. The treatment was in most cases ineffective. Nevertheless, more and more doctors became interested in this practice. In 1949 Egas Monis received the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

In the past, the lobotomy was not seen as an absurd and inhuman practice. Many medical books reported the positive effects it had on patients' moods.

There were many reasons a lobotomy was performed. Not only do people with intellectual disabilities or schizophrenia suffer from this treatment, but it is enough to behave abnormally to be admitted. Maybe all children would be attending these days ADHD suffer been lobotomized at the time.

The lobotomy was banned in 1950 after thousands of people had been reduced to vegetating status.