Medicine’s Sad Follies: ‘A Best Practice and Potentially Life Saving…’

 

Thus spake Jen Psaki with complete certainty regarding the medical profession’s administering of “gender affirming treatment.” Our medical profession says it is “best practice” and who is she to question our medical profession when it may even save lives? “Science” the all knowing and all powerful force that bestows knowledge upon our leaders to guide them in caring for their subjects has decreed that the outcomes of this affirmation are nearly always beneficial. So yes we should ramp up our efforts to give hormones to children and later mutilate them. Nature clearly has gotten sex assignment wrong in up to 10% of children. Bad nature. Sloppy nature. All seeing, all knowing and all benevolent Science through its high priests will FIFY.

Now, where have I heard this type of thing before? Oh, yes, that’s right: the heady excitement when the frontal lobotomy was introduced in the 1930s. Schizophrenia, depression, violent behavior, or behavioral problems in general? Just disconnect those frontal lobes and patients will become docile and happy. The American physicians Walter Fremont and James Watts brought the surgery over from Europe where it was invented (and its inventor, Egas Moniz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1949). They decided that having to perform the operation under anesthesia by a surgeon in an operating room deprived too many people of its benefits, so they perfected a procedure whereby you basically stuck a spatula through the eye socket and hammered a spike into the brain on an outpatient basis. Problem solved! They went all around the country performing it on people, many of whom did not consent to it. But even if they did, they weren’t consenting to a barbaric medical procedure but a life free from their demons. Why wouldn’t you consent?

In fairness to the physicians who supported lobotomies, they didn’t have good treatment options in the days before anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs. Also, in fairness, it was opposed by many physicians even from the start-the Soviet Union of all places banned it as inhumane – but their voices were drowned out for a long time. Eventually, disillusionment set in and the new drugs started coming on the market. The practice was discontinued but not before 20,000 were performed in the US alone. More on women than men. As noted in a recent article:

“It appears however that much of the controversy of lobotomies did not arise from what appeared to be a barbaric procedure to calm the moody, psychotic, or ill-behaved but rather the ‘over willingness’ of many physicians to perform this procedure without reservations.” (emphasis mine).

Yes, some people benefitted in the short term. Only apparently no one bothered to look what happened in the long term until it was too late. As one British neurosurgeon said: “It reflected very bad medicine, bad science, because it was clear the patients who were subjected to this procedure were never followed up properly….If you saw the patient after the operation they’d seem alright, they’d walk and talk and say ‘thank you, doctor,'” he observes. “The fact they were totally ruined as social human beings probably didn’t count.”

Some famous people were subjected to it, e.g., the sisters of JFK and Tennessee Williams, and it didn’t end well in either case. But what about the children? According to Wikipedia, lobotomy was used in Japan mostly on children with behavioral problems. Some children didn’t even know it had been performed on them. Howard Dully was diagnosed by Freeman as having schizophrenia, although other physicians did not agree, and was given a lobotomy at age 12 with permission from his parents. He had a hard life after that, including incarceration, homelessness, and alcoholism, although eventually he became sober, got a college degree, and held a job. He started to research what happened to him as a child and found out about his lobotomy. He wrote a book about it in 2003 and was interviewed by PBS and lauded by the NY Times and all the usual suspects who now accept uncritically “gender affirming care”. The last chapter of his book should be cautionary but apparently isn’t with that crowd: “In the last section of the memoir, entitled “One Last Word”, Dully compared his lobotomy to young children today who are diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without a second opinion, and are subsequently medicated with powerful medications” –Wikipedia I have a feeling if he had written that statement today he might have added “gender affirming care.”

We all agree now that it was a tragic era in medical history, but it only happened once. Actually, no. I will write in length another day about America’s sad and tragic love affair with forced sterilization in the first half of the 20th century. Over 60,000 people-many poor, minorities, immigrants- were forcibly sterilized without the need for informed consent. The eugenics movement in the US actually was the inspiration for Nazi Germany. Ah, those right-wing white supremacists — that’s why we need to root them out now, right? Only it wasn’t those right-wing white supremacists. It was our progressive elite- in our top universities, our scientific societies, our corporations, our charitable foundations (Rockefeller and Carnegie), and the highest echelons of government (Edwin Black, War against the Weak).

And our medical profession?

Most clinicians acted with benevolent intentions but often crossed ethical lines when they recommended sterilization to patients, especially poor women of color who did not request them. In an era when informed consent was a topic of conversation among clinicians but not standard practice, thousands of Black, Latina, and Native American women entered public hospitals to give birth and were sterilized after delivery without their informed consent.”

Now you might say that was still in the early part of the 20th century. Now we know better. Now we take oaths, and have Institutional Review Boards who keep this abuse from happening. We have informed consent. Then again, I just saw a documentary about the false accusations of child abuse and satanic rituals in the 1980s and 1990s that destroyed families and lives based on the largely discredited theory of repressed memories, referred to by Harvard Professor Richard McNally as “the worst catastrophe to befall the mental health field since the lobotomy era.” Who were its practitioners? Clinical psychologists.

The lessons that these follies teach is that science and the medical profession often think too highly of themselves when it comes to treatments that mess with the core of what makes us human or what makes us viable living beings. They go all in, quickly expanding controversial and highly destructive treatments well beyond the narrow and tragic cases where there might be some justification for trying extreme measures. They don’t consider the long-term consequences or even wait to find out. They force thousands of people too vulnerable to consent to be guinea pigs in their experiments. Why?

As Edwin Black says in his book War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race:

Again I ask, how did this happen in a progressive society? After reviewing thousands upon thousands of pages of documentation, and pondering the question day and night for nearly two years, I realize it comes down to just one word. More than self-validation and self-certification of the elite, more than just power and influence joining forces with prejudice, it was the corrupter of us all: it was arrogance.

And I would add ate, the Greek word for blind folly.

And that is what I am seeing again with this insistence that we alone of all sexual animals of the earth somehow have our sex merely “assigned” at birth; we have to wait and see what we really are and then can choose to correct nature’s error. Arrogance and ate. Once again, the “smartest” people in the room are driving this folly, in our universities, our scientific societies, our charitable organizations, our medical organizations, our corporations, and the upper echelons of our government. I do not think it will end any better than our irrational exuberance with lobotomies and sterilization. Hormones are powerful forces on our anatomy and physiology. We have little idea of what happens long term when you decide to stop them and change the program. We have little idea of what happens to babies that will be carried by people who are subjecting them to large amounts of testosterone. The voices of dissent once again cry out but they are being drowned out by idiots designing cheerful emojis of so-called pregnant men. And when it goes wrong we will look back and cluck our tongues and wonder how it could happen at all. But for the victims of this irrational exuberance, like the victims of other medical follies, it will be too late.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Gossamer Cat: The lessons that these follies teach is that science and the medical profession often think too highly of themselves when it comes to treatments that mess with the core of what makes us human or what makes us viable living beings.  They go all in, quickly expanding controversial and highly destructive treatments well beyond the narrow and tragic cases where there might be some justification for trying extreme measures.  They don’t consider the long term consequences or even wait to find out.  They force thousands of people too vulnerable to consent to be guinea pigs in their experiments. Why?    

    Excellent post, GC. And heartbreaking. I think that arrogance is at the root of many of these tragedies. Arrogance seems to spread like a disease, infecting the humanity in every person it touches. And it seems to grow over time. Reason, common sense, after all, are so ordinary. Thank you.

    • #1
  2. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat: The lessons that these follies teach is that science and the medical profession often think too highly of themselves when it comes to treatments that mess with the core of what makes us human or what makes us viable living beings. They go all in, quickly expanding controversial and highly destructive treatments well beyond the narrow and tragic cases where there might be some justification for trying extreme measures. They don’t consider the long term consequences or even wait to find out. They force thousands of people too vulnerable to consent to be guinea pigs in their experiments. Why?

    Excellent post, GC. And heartbreaking. I think that arrogance is at the root of many of these tragedies. Arrogance seems to spread like a disease, infecting the humanity in every person it touches. And it seems to grow over time. Reason, common sense, after all, are so ordinary. Thank you.

    Thank you Susan.  I think Edwin Black said it best:  “The corrupter of us all-arrogance.”  It is recognized as such in all the ancient texts handed down to us yet this wisdom is repeatedly ignored. 

    • #2
  3. Jim O Member
    Jim O
    @JimO

    Allow me to pile on… 

    In the 1970s and ’80s hospitals opened specifically to treat Multiple Personality Disorder. Thousands of people were treated with extended stays, intense therapy, and poor results. As I heard in a lecture many years ago, prominent thinking now is that MPD usually arises from “an unconscious collusion between a susceptible patient and a susceptible therapist.” We rarely see this diagnosis anymore.

    Also from the 1970s through the 1990s, we “knew” that if you were a woman, that we should start Hormone Replacement Therapy after you went through menopause.  We had epidemiologic data to support this, but it was turned on its head when the results of the Women’s Health Initiative began to be published. 

    There are others: Suppressing premature ventricular contractions following heart attacks caused more deaths, and we stopped doing that in the late 1980s. Who remembers Fen-Phen for weight loss? Oh, and acid reducers with bland diets for peptic ulcer disease, when it turns out to be an infection.

    A lot of these were honest mistakes, based on experience and reasonable thought processes. and most were quickly reversed when the evidence became clear. What gets you in trouble is usually Hubris, almost never Humility. But it is often Hubris that gets rewarded.

    • #3
  4. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Jim O (View Comment):
    What gets you in trouble is usually Hubris, almost never Humility. But it is often Hubris that gets rewarded.

    Yes.  I understand it takes a certain amount of hubris to even think that one can treat on another human being, but I am continually amazed at how we overestimate our knowledge about how humans work.  Or even how a fly works for that matter.  

    Your examples above show why caution when introducing new treatments is always warranted.  The full spectrum of adverse events and long term effects are never known from a clinical trial alone.  That is why I was so puzzled that the medical establishment was so dismissive of concerns about the vaccines.  They of all people should have known better.  I am not taking a stand on whether they are safe or not, just merely stating that all of us who took them were participating in a large clinical trial.  The government should never be able to force us to do so and yet it tried very hard.  

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It is rare that I read an essay of this length and find myself agreeing with every single word.

    I don’t know how to change this, but I see the same scene.

    Gossamer Cat: The last chapter of his book should be cautionary but apparently isn’t with that crowd: “In the last section of the memoir, entitled “One Last Word”, Dully compared his lobotomy to young children today who are diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without a second opinion, and are subsequently medicated with powerful medications”

    I would have said this too. I’ve been worried about this for thirty years.

    • #5
  6. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    MarciN (View Comment):

    It is rare that I read an essay of this length and find myself agreeing with every single word.

    I don’t know how to change this, but I see the same scene.

    Gossamer Cat: The last chapter of his book should be cautionary but apparently isn’t with that crowd: “In the last section of the memoir, entitled “One Last Word”, Dully compared his lobotomy to young children today who are diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without a second opinion, and are subsequently medicated with powerful medications”

    I would have said this too. I’ve been worried about this for thirty years.

    Thank you Marci.  I knew it was long but decided not to cut it any more.  The psychoactive drugs being given to children has also been a concern of mine and is emblematic of the exact same problem.  

    • #6
  7. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Gossamer Cat:

    “It appears however that much of the controversy of lobotomies did not arise from what appeared to be a barbaric procedure to calm the moody, psychotic or ill-behaved but rather the “over willingness” of many physicians to perform this procedure without reservations.” (emphasis mine).

     

    The lessons that these follies teach is that science and the medical profession often think too highly of themselves when it comes to treatments that mess with the core of what makes us human or what makes us viable living beings.  They go all in, quickly expanding controversial and highly destructive treatments well beyond the narrow and tragic cases where there might be some justification for trying extreme measures. 

    I believe that when you can convince a person to do something that their nature rebels against, they will cleave to that thing long after reason should convince them otherwise because they are in a perpetual battle to make what they have done ‘ok’. 

    • #7
  8. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    This excellent essay deserves to be promoted to the Main Feed and to be disseminated far and wide.  Spot on, GC.

    • #8
  9. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    It’s pretty much across the board when experts are given power.  They, even our favorite kinds, are above the rest of us in their field and above us in other respects as well, and  their power becomes formalized over time until a new batch of experts takes over their field and changes it. As individuals they are valuable and each of us has to make the decision to use that expert or not.  The systems get formalized and collectivized, cartelized if you will, and then they’re in charge, not us.  That’s the way top down works and is why top down eventually rots. 

    • #9
  10. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    What say Dr. B and Dr. R?  Good post but would like some feedback from the guys who carry scalpels. 

    • #10
  11. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Apparently Bari Weiss was writing on this topic the same time as I was in reaction to Ms Psaki’s comment:  The Testosterone Hangover

    “In the middle of this story are teenagers who are largely going unheard by a government and a medical establishment that’s plowing ahead. “I don’t think gender affirming care helps kids like me,” says Chloe. “There should be more regard to alternatives in treating dysphoria, especially when it comes to kids.”

    “She was not against trans people. Just like Phoenix and Helena and Chloe and all of them. They just felt like they’d been rushed through this heavily medicalized funnel when all they really needed was a little time to grow up. “

    • #11
  12. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Great Post.

    While Gossamer Cat has linked this problem to psychiatric care and our new sex change narrative by our elites, the elephant in the room is really the disastrous and arrogantly scientifically unsupported care given  COVID  patients and our corrupt Big Pharma incredibly dangerous mRNA vaccines mandated and proscribed with the flimsiest of side-effect research for the vast  majority which have likely resulted in the deaths of over one million Americans un-necessarily, and will likely kill many, many  more long into the future.  

    Gossamer: “Once again, the “smartest” people in the room are driving this folly, in our universities, our scientific societies, our charitable organizations, our medical organizations, our corporations, and the upper echelons of our government. I do not think it will end any better than our irrational exuberance with lobotomies and sterilization. ……….The voices of dissent once again cry out but they are being drowned out by idiots……………And when it goes wrong we will look back and cluck our tongues and wonder how it could happen at all. But for the victims of this irrational exuberance, like the victims of other medical follies, it will be too late.

    Again the this quote, dissected as it was,  describes to a “T” the disastrous, murderous  folly of our nations’s COVID care and analogous companion  mRNA Vaccine  machinations proscribed by the out of control hubris of our nation’s medical establishment.

     

    • #12
  13. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Gossamer Cat: hus spake Jen Psaki with complete certainty regarding the medical profession’s administering of “gender affirming treatment.” Our medical profession says it is “best practice”

    As was the case with eugenics and forced sterilization, there is no genuine consensus among medical professionals about sex change procedures and hormone treatments.  Since so much of medicine these days is supported one way or the other by government, especially in academic medical centers, the profession is often co-opted by political interests.  This has been the case with a number of illnesses and conditions from homosexuality to chronic fatigue syndrome.   The data supporting claims associated with all these subjects is usually very poor.  

    Many trans people are delusional.  Transsexualism is possibly the only mental illness in which the medical profession is prevailed upon to pander to the delusions.  Most of the time we treat the patient to get the delusions go away.  

    • #13
  14. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    These Woke Trans-Mongers will pay some day.  This whole cult is so obviously evil that it is a house of cards.  There will come a time that the lawsuits start and they will start to pile up fast.  What will the insurance companies do?   And then we will begin to see the most aggressive/high profile/deep pocket purveyors of this mal-treatment of the youth destroyed financially and professionally.   As they should be.  They must be utterly ruined as punishment for the ruination they’ve foisted on others, and as a lesson to “des autres”.  Unfortunately, they will do a lot of harm in the interim.  

    Perhaps the only way to stop the immediate harm is to follow FL’s lead in outlawing under-18 “treatments”

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    One thing I learned in the IT business is that “Best Practices” are not always best practices.  Sometimes they’re just a way of saying, “Shut up and do as you’re told.” 

    • #15
  16. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    One thing I learned in the IT business is that “Best Practices” are not always best practices. Sometimes they’re just a way of saying, “Shut up and do as you’re told.”

    It really means, “We’ve decided to stop looking for better methods.” 

    • #16
  17. Mad Gerald Lincoln
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Gossamer Cat: Some famous people were subjected to it, e.g., the sisters of JFK and Tennessee Williams, and it didn’t end well in either case.

    Rosemary Kennedy, sister of JFK spent the rest of her life institutionalized. The details are appalling.

    Immediately after the procedure, they knew something was wrong.

    Rosie could no longer walk or talk. She was incontinent. The left side of her body had been partially paralyzed. Her head tilted toward her left shoulder and she couldn’t straighten it. All she could do was grunt, scream, and cry.

    Her father panicked. He didn’t tell anyone about the procedure he’d agreed to. Not even his wife.

    Rosie was packed off and sent to Craig House in Beacon, New York. It was 1941, and still legal for a  father to sign a woman into a mental health institution. Rosie was 23 years old.

    Eight years later, Joe Sr. learned that Rosie was being sexually abused at Craig House so he moved her to Saint Coletta, a home for the “mentally retarded” in Wisconsin.

    Despite that she’d had a lobotomy, she learned to make her bed and brush her teeth. She learned to dress herself and communicate with her eyes and by gesturing with her good hand. She even learned to walk again.

    Her mother still didn’t know where she was.

    For twenty years, the Kennedy family had no idea what happened to Rosie. They simply took the word of the patriarch. Joe said she wasn’t allowed visitors, so they believed and accepted that.

    No one knew where she was, and no one knew she was being kept in isolation, not even permitted outings. Her father didn’t want anyone seeing her. Twenty years in utter isolation with only the nuns for companionship.

    A year after JFK became president, Joe Kennedy Sr. had a stroke. Mute and bedridden, he was no longer capable of paying bills. That’s how Rose finally found her daughter. The bill from the institution arrived.

    Rosemary Kennedy died January 7, 2005 at the age of eighty-six.

    • #17
  18. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat: Some famous people were subjected to it, e.g., the sisters of JFK and Tennessee Williams, and it didn’t end well in either case.

    Rosemary Kennedy, sister of JFK spent the rest of her life institutionalized. The details are appalling.

    Immediately after the procedure, they knew something was wrong.

    Rosie could no longer walk or talk. She was incontinent. The left side of her body had been partially paralyzed. Her head tilted toward her left shoulder and she couldn’t straighten it. All she could do was grunt, scream, and cry.

    Her father panicked. He didn’t tell anyone about the procedure he’d agreed to. Not even his wife.

    Rosie was packed off and sent to Craig House in Beacon, New York. It was 1941, and still legal for a father to sign a woman into a mental health institution. Rosie was 23 years old.

    Eight years later, Joe Sr. learned that Rosie was being sexually abused at Craig House so he moved her to Saint Coletta, a home for the “mentally retarded” in Wisconsin.

    Despite that she’d had a lobotomy, she learned to make her bed and brush her teeth. She learned to dress herself and communicate with her eyes and by gesturing with her good hand. She even learned to walk again.

    Her mother still didn’t know where she was.

    For twenty years, the Kennedy family had no idea what happened to Rosie. They simply took the word of the patriarch. Joe said she wasn’t allowed visitors, so they believed and accepted that.

    No one knew where she was, and no one knew she was being kept in isolation, not even permitted outings. Her father didn’t want anyone seeing her. Twenty years in utter isolation with only the nuns for companionship.

    A year after JFK became president, Joe Kennedy Sr. had a stroke. Mute and bedridden, he was no longer capable of paying bills. That’s how Rose finally found her daughter. The bill from the institution arrived.

    Rosemary Kennedy died January 7, 2005 at the age of eighty-six.

    Jeez.  I didn’t look up the full story.  What a complete and utter tragedy.  

    • #18
  19. Mad Gerald Lincoln
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat: Some famous people were subjected to it, e.g., the sisters of JFK and Tennessee Williams, and it didn’t end well in either case.

    Rosemary Kennedy, sister of JFK spent the rest of her life institutionalized. The details are appalling.

    Jeez. I didn’t look up the full story. What a complete and utter tragedy.

    Her father Joe Kennedy, Ambassador to Great Britain, and Nazi supporter, epitomized, as you put it, the progressive elite.

    It was our progressive elite- in our top universities, our scientific societies, our corporations, our charitable foundations (Rockefeller and Carnegie), and the highest echelons of government (Edwin Black, War against the Weak).

    Outstanding post, by the way.  I didn’t say so in my previous comment as I was up against the Word Limit.

    • #19
  20. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):
    Outstanding post, by the way.  I didn’t say so in my previous comment as I was up against the Word Limit.

    Thank you!

    • #20
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