Robert Galbraith Heath

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Robert Galbraith Heath (9 May 1915 – 24 September 1999) was an American psychiatrist.[1] He followed the theory of biological psychiatry that organic defects were the sole source of mental illness,[2] and that consequently mental problems were treatable by physical means. He published 360 papers and three books.[3][4] One of his first papers is dated 1946.[5]

Heath founded the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1949 and remained its chairman until 1980.[6][7][8] He performed many experiments there involving electrical stimulation of the brain via surgically implanted electrodes. He placed DBS electrodes into the brains of more than 54 patients.[9][10][11][12] People speculate the work was partially financed by the CIA and the US military.[13]

Heath also experimented with the drug bulbocapnine to induce stupor, and LSD,[14][15] using prisoners in the Louisiana State Penitentiary as experimental subjects.[16] He worked on schizophrenia patients, which he regarded as an illness with a physical basis.[17]

Gay conversion therapy and Patient B-19[edit]

Heath was experimenting in 1953 on inducing paroxysms (orgasms) onto human brains.[18] During the course of his experiments in deep brain stimulation, Dr. Heath experimented with gay conversion therapy, and claimed to have successfully converted a homosexual patient, labeled in his paper as Patient B-19. The patient, who had been arrested for marijuanna possession, was implanted with electrodes into the septal region (associated with feelings of pleasure), and many other parts of his brain. The septal electrodes were then stimulated while he was shown heterosexual pornographic material. The patient was later encouraged to have intercourse with a prostitute recruited for the study. As a result, Heath claimed the patient was successfully converted to heterosexuality. This research would be deemed unethical today for a variety of reasons. The patient was recruited for the study while under legal duress, and further implications for the patient's well-being, including indications that electrode stimulation was addictive, were not considered.[19][20][21]

Published medical articles with Heath as a main contributor[edit]

  • "Cerebellar stimulation in treating intractable behavior disorders" Curr Psychiatr Ther. 1981;20:329-36[22]
  • "The cerebellar pacemaker for intractable behavioral disorders and epilepsy: follow-up report." Biol Psychiatry. 1980 Apr;15(2):243-56.[8]
  • "A surgical technique for chronic electrode implantation in humans. Confin Neurol. 1962;22:223-7."[23]
  • "Intracranial self-stimulation in man." Science. 1963 Apr 26;140(3565):394-6.[24]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Dr. Robert G. Heath: a controversial figure in the history of deep brain stimulation"
  2. ^ Heath, R.G. (1961). "Reappraisal of biological aspects of psychiatry". Journal of Neuropsychiatry. 3: 1–11. 
  3. ^ Robert Galbraith Heath, MD
  4. ^ Articles of Dr. R.G. Heath at the National Center for Biotechnology Information
  5. ^ HEATH, RG; NORMAN, EC (December 1946). "Electroshock therapy by stimulation of discrete cortical sites with small electrodes". Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (New York, N.Y.). 63 (3): 496–502. doi:10.3181/00379727-63-15650. PMID 20281090. 
  6. ^ "In Memoriam: Robert Galbraith Heath, MD, DMSci (1915–1999)". Neurology. 54 (2): 286. 2000. doi:10.1212/wnl.54.2.286. 
  7. ^ Correa, AJ; Llewellyn, RC; Epps, J; Jarrott, D; Eiswirth, C; Heath, RG (1980). "Chronic cerebellar stimulation in the modulation of behavior". Acta Neurol Latinoam. 26: 143–53. PMID 6807046. 
  8. ^ a b Heath, RG; Llewellyn, RC; Rouchell, AM (1980). "The cerebellar pacemaker for intractable behavioral disorders and epilepsy: follow-up report" (PDF). Biol. Psychiatry. 15: 243–56. PMID 7417614. 
  9. ^ Becker, Hal C. (1957). "A roentgenographic stereotaxic technique for implanting and maintaining electrodes in the brain of man". Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology. 9 (3): 533–543. doi:10.1016/0013-4694(57)90042-1. 
  10. ^ Heath, R.G. (1963). "Electrical self-stimulation of the brain in man". American Journal of Psychiatry. 120: 571–577. doi:10.1176/ajp.120.6.571. 
  11. ^ Moan, C.E.; Heath, R.G. (1972). "Septal stimulation for the initiation of heterosexual activity in a homosexual male". Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. 3: 23–30. doi:10.1016/0005-7916(72)90029-8. 
  12. ^ Heath, Robert G. (1958). "Correlation of Electrical Recordings from Cortical and Subcortical Regions of the Brain with Abnormal Behavior in Human Subjects". Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. 18: 305–315. doi:10.1159/000105075. 
  13. ^ "Robert Heath at Wireheading". Wireheading.com. 1977-08-02. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  14. ^ Monroe, RR; Heath, RG (1961). "Effects of lysergic acid and various derivatives on depth and cortical electrograms". J Neuropsychiatry. 3: 75–82. PMID 14475431. 
  15. ^ Monroe, RR; Heath, RG; Mickle, WA; Llewellyn, RC (1957). "Correlation of rhinencephalic electrograms with behavior; a study on humans under the influence of LSD and mescaline". Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 9: 623–42. doi:10.1016/0013-4694(57)90084-6. PMID 13480236. 
  16. ^ Jr, Alan W. Scheflin, Edward M. Opton (1978). The Mind Manipulators: A non-fiction account. New York: Paddington Press. pp. 314–315. ISBN 0-448-22977-3. 
  17. ^ Heath, R.G. (1967). "Schizophrenia: pathogenetic theories". International Journal of Psychiatry. 3 (5): 407–10. 
  18. ^ HEATH, RG; PEACOCK SM, Jr; MILLER W, Jr (1953). "Induced paroxysmal electrical activity in man recorded simultaneously through subcortical and scalp electrodes". Transactions of the American Neurological Association. 3 (78th Meeting): 247–50. PMID 13179226. 
  19. ^ Heath, R (1972). "PLEASURE AND BRAIN ACTIVITY IN MAN". The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 154: 3–18. doi:10.1097/00005053-197201000-00002. PMID 5007439. 
  20. ^ 3.Horgan, J. What Are Science's Ugliest Experiments?. Scientific American Blog Network (2016). at http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/what-are-sciences-ugliest-experiments/
  21. ^ Robert Colvile (5 July 2016). "The 'gay cure' experiments that were written out of scientific history". Mosaic Science. 
  22. ^ Heath, RG; Rouchell, AM; Goethe, JW (1981). "Cerebellar stimulation in treating intractable behavior disorders". Curr Psychiatr Ther. 20: 329–36. PMID 7326976. 
  23. ^ Llewellyn, RC; Heath, RG (1962). "A surgical technique for chronic electrode implantation in humans". Confin Neurol. 22: 223–7. doi:10.1159/000104364. PMID 13931099. 
  24. ^ Bishop, MP; Elder, ST; Heath, RG (1963). "Intracranial self-stimulation in man". Science. 140: 394–6. doi:10.1126/science.140.3565.394. PMID 13971228. 

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