A Man Against Insanity: The Birth of Drug Therapy in a Northern Michigan Asylum (Paperback)
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Meet the man against insanity. His laboratory? The sadly sinister wards of the 3,000-bed Traverse City State Hospital. His apparatus? Only his own eyes and hands, plus the hands and eyes of more than one hundred nurse attendants. And for his experiments, the patients whom staff referred to as the "cats and dogs"- the seemingly incurable psychotics resistant to all treatment and far beyond hope."Maybe we're not scientific here," Ferguson admitted. "I know we're different than they are in the big medical schools. We don't treat diseases - we try to treat sick people."In this book, originally published in 1957, author Paul de Kruif tells the story of Dr. Jack Ferguson, a family physician who originally made a name for himself by perfecting a three-minute lobotomy. In 1954, he arrived in Traverse City, Michigan, ready to perform 500 lobotomies on the so-called incurably insane. Yet he never got around to even the first one. Instead, using an unscientific combination of chemicals, copious notes and loving attention, he began one of the boldest drug therapy experiments ever attempted in a mental institution, helping to reshape how the mentally ill are treated in this country and abroad.