Psychosurgery is the process of removing or damaging a small portion of the frontal lobe in order to trigger a change in erratic behaviour exhibited by those considered insane. Although psychosurgery intrigued doctors and was practiced with unsuccessful infrequency during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, its use became more frequent when alternate methods emerged in the 1930s. A program was initiated at London, Ontario's Westminster Veteran's Hospital in 1947 to perform the procedure. In 1951, Kenneth G. McKenzie, a central figure in its use in Ontario, visited London in order to spread his knowledge and zeal for its use. From 1944 to 1967, 1,000 lobotomies were done at hospitals across Ontario, although specific figures by institution are elusive.

Despite the popularity of psychosurgery, many medical practitioners were dismayed over their colleagues' use of such invasive methods. In a report on psychosurgical success from Westminster Hospital, it was noted that the majority of patients suffered side effects such as a reduced capacity to learn and an inability to deal with situations that required quick or alternate planning. Women were subjected to lobotomy more frequently, as limited data shows that they were lobotomized in 74% of cases from 1948-1952. These results give one reason to wonder why lobotomizing female patients was so popular among male doctors.