Medicine: Shocked to Sleep

Relaxed from a tranquilizer, the 65-year-old woman, an abdominal cancer victim, lay quietly on an operating table in the University of Mississippi's Medical Center. Anesthesiologist Leonard Fabian opened her mouth, sprayed a local anesthetic on her throat, inserted an "airway tube" to ensure unobstructed breathing. Under the watchful eye of Surgeon James Hardy, Dr. Fabian attached a tiny electrode to each of the woman's temples. At his signal, a technician turned a control on the face of a small box from which thin wires trailed out to the electrodes. Within 60 seconds the...

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