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Reviews Book

Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 26 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1276
  1. D B Double (, consultant psychiatrist1
  1. 1Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Hellesdon Hospital, Norwich

    Surgery may not be the most obvious treatment for mental illness. Surgeons are people who find it extremely rewarding to act and see the impact of their actions on their patients. However, operating on the body may not have very specific effects on a disordered mind. This fact has not hindered enthusiasts intervening surgically believing their outcomes to be positive. Such excesses have been tragic, as is well known in the history of lobotomy (see review of The Lobotomist in this week's BMJ).

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    Andrew Scull

    Yale University Press, £18.95, pp 352 ISBN 0 300 10729 3

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    Less well known is the phase …

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