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marzec 2022

Four Musketeers or The Lords of the Sith?

The top scientists or the monsters? The ‘four musketeers’ or the ‘Lords of the Sith’  - interpretation is on your side. Numerous discoveries were either done in a controversial way or the research was flawed. Individuals were not informed of the far-reaching consequences, the study was ‘inhumane’, and there was a lot of psychologiocal and physical suffering of those involved. Most of us are familiar with Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to authority” test and Philip Zimbardo’s ‘Stanford prison experiment’ (SPE), the findings of which were devastating. The ones down here are also on the list. Paradoxically some questions posed in their research reappear today and are discussed with the vivid original passion.
1. Dr Ewan Cameron - the psychiatrist - the President of the American Psychiatric Association (1952–1953) Criticized for administering electroshock therapy and experimental drugs to patients without their informed consent. These practices took place in the context of MKULTRA project 68 - a mind control program, which was covertly sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Cameron had been hoping to correct schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. His "driving" experiments consisted of rendering a subject into a drug-induced coma for weeks while playing tape loops of noise or simple statements. These experiments were typically carried out on patients who had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postnatal depression; many suffered permanent debilitation after these treatments. Dr Cameron also treated homosexuality using shock and extreme psychotherapy. Homosexuality was classified as a sexual deviation both in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Handbook of Mental Disorders (DSM-I) in 1952 and existed as such till 1979.
Left: Dr Ewen Cameron; Right: Dr
Left: Dr Ewen Cameron; Right: Dr "Jack" Kevorkian (Dr. Death)
2. Dr "Jack" Kevorkian (Dr. Death) May 26, 1928 – June 3, 2011) was an American pathologist and euthanasia proponent. He is best known for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he claimed to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He was often portrayed in the media with the name of "Dr. Death”. He famously said, "Dying is not a crime". In 1999, Kevorkian was arrested and tried for his direct role in a case of voluntary euthanasia. He was convicted of second-degree murder and served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence. He was released on parole on June 1, 2007. In 1987 Kevorkian started advertising in Detroit newspapers as a physician consultant for "death counseling". His first public assisted suicide, of Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old woman diagnosed in 1989 with Alzheimer's disease, took place in 1990. In 1991, however, the State of Michigan revoked Kevorkian's medical license Several deaths were assisted by means of a device which delivered the euthanizing drugs intravenously. Kevorkian called the device a "Thanatron" ("Death machine", from the Greek thanatos meaning "death"). Other people were assisted by a device which employed a gas mask fed by a canister of carbon monoxide, which Kevorkian called the "Mercitron" ("Mercy machine").
Left: Walter Freeman
Left: Walter Freeman "The Lobotomist"; Right: Dr John Money
3. Walter Freeman – “The Lobotomist” is known in history as the father of the lobotomy, an infamous procedure that involved hammering an ice pick-like instrument into a patient’s brain through their eye sockets. The horrifying procedure often left patients in a vegetative state and is responsible for an estimated 490 deaths. As a doctor he had a lot of practice in psychiatric institutions. Influenced by the devastating effects of mental illness, Freeman began using oxygen therapy and experimented with chemical treatments for patients. In 1935, Freeman learned of a frontal lobe ablation technique that had been used on chimpanzees with the effects of subduing their temperament. That same year, a new procedure intended to treat mental illness was performed in Portugal under the direction of neurologist and physician Egas Moniz called a “leucotomy,” which took small pieces out of the frontal lobes.

4. Dr John Money - psychologist, sexologist specializing in research into sexual identity and biology of gender. He was one of the first scientists to study the psychology of sexual fluidity and how the societal constructs of "gender" affect an individual. More recent academic studies have criticized Money's work in many respects, particularly in regards to his involvement with the sex-reassignment of David Reimer and his eventual suicide. During his professional life, Money was respected as an expert on sexual behavior, especially known for his views that gender was learned rather than innate. (nurture vs. nature) Many years later, however, it was revealed that his most famous case was fundamentally flawed.
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