The ever-fascinating Eva Peron continues to make news, this time by way of an equally fascinating New York Times article on lobotomies. A Yale researcher now believes the former first lady herself received one in a bid to relieve the extreme pain she experienced while dying of cervical cancer. The horrific operations were apparently considered a form of pain management in the 1950s; one neurosurgeon, in 1953, called it a "valuable and humane" procedure able to dull patients' response to pain—even though it could leave them "childish, dull, apathetic, with little capacity for any emotional experiences."
In 2005, a Hungarian-born neurosurgeon who said he had been part of the team that treated Peron—she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer in August 1951 but was told she just had a uterine issue—said she received a lobotomy. And as Yale neurosurgeon Daniel Nijensohn began to investigate the claim, the evidence began to pile up; his research will be published tomorrow. Among his findings: He confirmed details from the elder neurosurgeon's story; learned that an expert on the use of lobotomies for pain was asked to operate on Peron in 1952; and discovered indentations, by way of X-rays, in certain areas of her skull. He believes the operation occurred in May or June of 1952, meaning it would have been completed before her final public appearance. Peron died in July 1952 at age 33. Click to read the entire article. (Read more Eva Peron stories.)