[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
The Lobotomist The Lobotomist home page

Patients' Stories: Beulah Jones

  • Ellen Ionesco
  • Beulah Jones
  • Howard Dully
  • "It did succeed in changing the atmosphere of the psychiatric ward. Patients who had lobotomies were less likely to throw a lamp across the room, were less likely to attack other patients." -- Jack El-Hai, author

In the late 1940s, Beulah Jones began to hear voices and to claim that she was the lost queen of Scotland. Her husband had her placed in a state hospital where she was lobotomized on doctor's recommendations.

Beulah Jones (1:29)

Choose a Video Format

QuickTime: High Low
Windows Media: High Low

Download the free QuickTime player at www.apple.com
or the free Windows Media player at www.microsoft.com

Beulah Jones, before prefrontal lobotomy, with her husband.

Beulah Jones, before prefrontal lobotomy, with her husband. Courtesy Christine Hamilton Johnson

Beulah Jones, before prefrontal lobotomy, with her family.

Beulah Jones, before prefrontal lobotomy, with her family. Courtesy Christine Hamilton Johnson

Beulah Jones, before prefrontal lobotomy, with her daughter.

Beulah Jones, before prefrontal lobotomy, with her daughter. Courtesy Christine Hamilton Johnson

Find out what doctors today would advise.


Transcript

Before
"He used to take her out a lot to keep her away from us so we would not get caught up in the illness. When he was working, our mother would tell us, 'Your father tried to kidnap me, he's a bad person'."

After
"My father said that doctors would operate on her brain and this would take the violence out of her, that she would be docile after that. Well, my recollection was there was no change in her behavior other than she lost her higher intellect. She could not sit down and read anymore. She could barely write. She had no long-term memory, it was like everything was right here in this minute, her attention span was thirty seconds."

Looking Back
"I think she was a victim of her time. If she hadn't had the lobotomy at that time with the new drugs that came out shortly after that, I think she could have lived a normal life. But after the lobotomy it's too late because there's nothing to work with anymore."

-- Janice Jones-Thomson, daughter

back to top