Lobotomies, Pain Guns, and Shredded Data: Patient H.M. and the Ethics of Human Experimentation

  • September 27, 2018 • 5 PM – 6 PM
  • Umrath Lounge

“Memories make us. Everything we are is everything we were.” Luke Dittrich, author of “Patient H.M: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets”

For 27-year-old Henry Molaison, the precious ability to store memories was taken away from him during an experimental lobotomy and it changed his life – and the history of memory research – forever.

In his conversation with Professor Rebecca Messbarger, Dittrich will describe the fascinating true story of “Patient H.M.” and will explore how Molaison’s story raises troubling questions about research ethics, exploitation, and informed consent: Given his severe incapacitation due to memory loss, how does one determine whether Molaison understood what he was consenting to as a life-long research subject?