Northwestern University

Mar
22
Thu 12:00 PM

“Not Your Father’s Lobotomy”: Managing Memory in the New Era of Psychosurgery - Jenell Johnson

recurring see all events in this series

When: Thursday, March 22, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, 1st floor, Baldwin Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Bryan Morrison   312.503.1927

Group: Medical Humanities & Bioethics Lunchtime Montgomery Lectures

Category: Lectures & Meetings

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Description:

** PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS LECTURE WILL MEET IN THE BALDWIN AUDITORIUM, NOT OUR TYPICAL LOCATION **

The Master of Arts in Medical Humanities & Bioethics program
in Co-Sponsorship with IPHAM presents

Jenell Johnson, PhD

Mellon-Morgridge Professor of the Humanities and
Associate Professor of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Not Your Father’s Lobotomy”: Managing Memory in the
New Era of Psychosurgery


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been called a “new frontier” in the treatment of otherwise treatment-resistant depression. While the phrase “new frontier” has a positive connotation, DBS advocates are confronted by a significant negative connotation: vivid public memories of lobotomy, one of the most reviled treatments in the history of medicine. This communication challenge confronts clinicians who wish to suggest DBS to their patients, researchers who wish to obtain funding, as well as researchers and clinicians limited by public policies, institutional rules, and ethical guidelines that regulate the use of psychosurgery. For DBS advocates, establishing the relationship between the past and the present is not just a matter of getting the facts right or telling the correct history. It also requires crafting persuasive arguments for the lineage of DBS that relate the new psychosurgery in some way to the old. This talk identifies and analyzes three dominant strategies that DBS advocates use to manage the memory of the lobotomy era, and suggests how an attention to how we frame the past might guide more robust ethical deliberation for the future.

 

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