There is a reason it is called the “practice of medicine.” Not so long ago, a proposed cure for mental illness was trepanation. It seemed obvious. A patient with bad thoughts trapped in his head was overcome. There was no way for these thoughts to escape. One doctor says, “Hey, let’s give this a try. We’ll drill a hole in the skull, so the bad thoughts will leave. Soon others jumped on the bandwagon.” Next thing the patient knows, if he survives, is that he’s got an extra hole in his head. Ridiculous!
Here is the technique and history described.
Since the New Stone Age, people across the globe have practiced trepanation: a surgical procedure that involves boring one or more holes into a person’s skull (ie, burr holes). Experts believe that ancient civilizations performed trepanation to exorcise malevolent spirits or demonic influences from an individual, as well as to treat certain health conditions such as convulsions, headaches, infections, and mental disorders.
Modern medicos are so much smarter than their predecessors. The first thing these mental health professionals did was redefine crazy. If one wanted to shed excess (non-existent pounds) or cut off an arm or leg then that person was crazy.
However, if the patient only wanted to remove offending genitalia and associated parts, then that was the function of a healthy mind. Next, these mental health professionals recruited surgeons. It wasn’t hard, all of these subscribers to the Hippocratic oath had Mercedes payments to make.
These surgeons and mental health professionals made an amazing discovery. Doctors for hundreds of years had been operating on the wrong head. The key to mental health was to remove the offending head. Either the “little helmet head”, or the “little guy in the boat.” Lorena Bobbitt was a visionary.
Bad news! It seems lopping off offending genitalia is not the path to mental health. That’s easy for the American Psychiatric Association to say.
Buddy Hackett offers hope. The original equipment is long gone. But doctors may be able to substitute. Like anything involving medicine, there may be side effects.