Last resort? Lobotomy operations in Israel, 1946-60

Rakefet Zalashik, Nadav Davidovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper we examine lobotomy operations in mandatory Palestine and Israel between 1946 and 1960. The aim is to reconstruct the circumstances in which these operations were done, and to examine: which patients were lobotomized and why; how lobotomy was perceived by the local psychiatric profession; and the reasons for its decline. Apart from shedding new light on the history of lobotomy, which is usually analysed from the viewpoint of the USA and Europe, this study provides an opportunity to investigate the relation between various concepts of the healthy and ill body in the unique context of Israel, as an immigrant country influenced by its Zionist ideology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-106
Number of pages16
JournalHistory of Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2006


  • History of the body
  • Immigration and health
  • Israel
  • Lobotomy
  • Psychiatry
  • Zionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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