I am putting this behind cuts because it is incredibly harrowing – there are all sorts of interesting little side-lights, such as the fact that they considered her of low intelligence because she had trouble at school even though she read a lot and taught herself photography. I started to translate the account and realized that I just could not bear it.
The account, along with a lot of patronizing nonsense is here Basically L knew she was female from childhood and had a bad time at school – from time to time she would try and butch up and not be girly, but it never worked for her. In her teens she started hustling and slept with a lot of men; she also had an affair with a woman, and regarded this as a lesbian relationship. In her early 20s, her parents persuaded her to go into psychoanalysis and when this failed to ‘cure’ her, got her admitted to hospital. There they repeatedly put her in insulin comas, some hundred times in total, often associating it with electric shock therapy. When this had no effect whatever, except to make her more confused, they gave her a lobotomy, and followed it up with more coma and shock treatments. The surgical site got infected and she developed an infection in her brain – they continued to give her electric shock treatment and she eventually suffocated on the table. When they opened her skull, they found signs of endless trauma from the shocks and brain surgery. And had a meeting to discuss ways of carrying out such procedures more efficiently and without negative outcomes
Words fucking fail me.
Later I had better add for people who don’t follow the link that this was 1952, but presumably many of those involved continued to practice medicine for years thereafter.