February 2004 (v6 i4)
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State institutes 24-hour wait for lobotomy seekers
by Chanice Jan, Staff Writer

AUSTIN — Starting March 1st, schizophrenics seeking lobotomies in the state of Texas will be required by law to wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. Legislators backing the new mandate intend for patients to spend the daylong period studying a state-made informational brochure and discussing the decision with their other selves.

To ensure neurosurgeons are distributing the pamphlets, titled "A Mental Ward's Right to Know," practitioners are expected to file acknowledgment of receipt forms with each request to terminate psychosis. The forms must be signed by the patient seeking the lobotomy as well as each of their medically recognized alternate egos.

The booklet explains risks of the operation, which include anterograde amnesia, loss of sensory, cognitive, and motor functions, hyperactivity, hypoactivity, proclivity towards absentmindedness, and sanity. It offers alternatives to surgery, like solitary confinement, ginkgo biloba, and religion.

Each brochure also contains sketch-artist interpretations of multiple personalities at different stages of delusion.

Needless to say, it is a controversial decision that has been met with much challenge. Kevin Lockhart, certified psychopathologist, is a strong opponent of the new legislation. "Where do I even start?" asked Lockhart. "First of all, it's logistically impossible for the inter-personality debate to reach a fair consensus. When was the last time you heard a narcissistic personality disorder offer itself up for sacrifice?"

"Secondly, how can you expect a collection of emotionally imbalanced personas to reach a sound decision?" asks Lockhart. "The paranoid characters will always blow the risks out of proportion, and the histrionics will do nothing but conjure up unnecessary fuss for attention. The obsessive-compulsives will take weeks, maybe months to carefully ponder the options, and the schizoids and avoidants-how do you even convince them to talk to the other personalities? Do I even need to bring up the stunts the antisocials and schizoids will try to pull?"

Voices for Voices in Head chairwoman Judy Gardner disagrees.

"There have been many documented cases where borderline personas have been more than willing to sacrifice themselves, and dependent personalities have unquestioningly conceded to the decisions of the others," says Gardner. "Anyone who says otherwise is skewing the facts by ignoring this important data."

Asked to sum up his reaction to the ruling, Lockhart shook his head.

"It's just plain crazy!"
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