March 10, 2014
Dr. Walter Freeman pioneered a type of brain surgery called the "ice pick lobotomy" in a West Virginia State Hospital, and it's exactly what it sounds like.
A new PBS documentary will focus on Freeman's procedure, and the countless mental patients it was performed on at Lakin State Hospital in the 1940s and 1950s.
A decade later, Freeman was deeply criticized for the method, and lobotomies came to be considered a mistake of modern medicine.
"The Lobotomist" will air as part of PBS' American experience on January 21 at 9 p.m.