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a neurosurgical procedure, a form of psychosurgery, also known as a leukotomy or leucotomy (from Greek leukos: clear or white and tomos meaning "cut/slice"). It consists of cutting the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex. Lobotomies have now fallen out of use, as doctors use various drugs and psychological therapies to treat mental illnesses. Lobotomies were used mainly from the 1930s to 1950s to treat a wide range of severe disorders, including schizophrenia, clinical depression, and various anxiety disorders, as well as people who were considered a nuisance by demonstrating behavior characterized as, for example, "moodiness" or "youthful defiance". The patient's informed consent in the modern sense was often not obtained. After the introduction of the antipsychotic chlorpromazine (Thorazine), lobotomies fell out of common use and the procedure has since been characterized "as one of the most barbaric mistakes ever perpetrated by mainstream medicine".

A damning portrayal of the procedure is found in Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and its 1975 movie adaptation. Several patients in the mental ward receive lobotomies in order to discipline or calm them. The operation is described as brutal and abusive, a "frontal-lobe castration." The book's narrator, Chief Bromden, is shocked: "There's nothin' in the face. Just like one of those store dummies." One patient's surgery changes him from an acute to a chronic mental condition. "You can see by his eyes how they burned him out over there; his eyes are all smoked up and gray and deserted inside."

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A lobotomy is a very basic form of brain surgery where the two halves of the brain are separated by severing part of the nervestem which joins them. (There were many cases where the surgery was performed by pushing an icepick up the patient's nose).

In the 1950's lobotomies became very popular as a quick-fix treatment for conditions as different as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - about 50,000 American patients were lobotomised, often before any proper diagnosis had been performed.

Randle McMurphy is lobotomised in the novel One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest because he is considered a 'difficult' person: specifically, he has had consensual sex with a legal minor. Effectively the lobotomy leaves McMurphy a vegetable - a common result of the lobotomies which were carried out in American mental hospitals of the time.

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Q: What is a lobotomy what is it for and why did they give randall p macmurphy one in the movie one flew over the cuckoo's nest?
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