Wednesday, 27 February 2013

engaging with the Dundee Advanced Interventions Service

Scan showing targets for Anterior Cingulotomy
I've been trying to set up a meeting with the leading psychiatrist at the Dundee Advanced Interventions Service (DAIS) which specialises in NMD, neurosurgery for mental disorder.  Brain surgery for mental illness, anterior cingulotomy.  We've had Email exchanges but there seems to be resistance to our meeting up in person.

The latest DAIS annual report summary and conclusions on p8 states:

"Neurosurgical activity in 2011/12 continues to be variable but it is recognised that clinical activity varies from one year to the next and is dependent upon the nature of the patients referred. We believe that there remain considerable numbers of patients with unmet needs and we are keen to ensure that they have the opportunity to be referred to the service."  

The mention of considerable numbers of patients with unmet needs sets off alarm bells in my mind.  Are they proposing a return to the days of lobotomies and large scale brain surgery for people who are 'treatment resistant' or have been given psychiatric treatment that is useless?   

Are they under the illusion that going into the frontal lobes of the brain to the limbic system and using electric currents to destroy tissue is the best way of helping people to recover from mental ill health?  Does labelling people with lifelong mental illness give them the right to offer treatment that is irreversible and isn't a cure.

Mind, the mental health charity, says "NMD is not a cure, and people who have the surgery are likely to need continued psychiatric support afterwards, even if the surgery is considered to be successful.".

I think that brain surgery for mental illness is a symptom of psychiatric system failure and another form of psychiatric abuse.  Together with ECT/shock treatment that exchanges one pain for another.  A paradigm shift is needed, away from biomedical models of mental illness to holistic mind and body care.  No more resorting to physical force on people who feel more keenly the pain of living.  Give it a restPlease.


  1. ''No more resorting to physical force on people who feel more keenly the pain of living''

    I can't agree more with your words. Instead of being helped to cope with the pain in their lives the more vulnerable are pushed towards more pain, more stigma, more exclusion, out of society forever.
    I know my daughter better than anybody else being her mum and I know she will never deserve any forced treatment against her will. And I am determined never to let anybody to use any forced treatment on her. What about other diagnosed? What if there is no family member to speak for them? It's hard and painful to think about it.


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