We are asked by a chaplain at a VA hospital whether Jewish law permits the operation called lobotomy,which is the cutting of part of the frontal lobe of the brain for the care of certain mental diseases.
The Talmud speaks frequently of surgical operations and also specifically of operations on the brain, as for example cutting the cranium (trepaning) to relieve pressure on the brain (b. Kesuvos 77b) or of raising a portion of the cranium,"maalin etzem shel rosh" (J. Aboda Zara II, 2).
In general there is no objection in the Jewish Law against any operation made for the sake of healing. "God gives permission to the physician to heal." (B. Berachoth 60a; Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 336, 1).