Medical Decapitation, or the surgical removal of the skull, is a relatively common yet poorly understood procedure used to treat a multitude of conditions. Although little used for the past century, it is seeing a resurgence due to research being done at the Kevorkian Head Research Clinic into its use as a treatment for chronic migraines.
Patient is prepped, including shaving the head. A big X is drawn over the head, then the patient is wheeled in. Surgeons come in and remove the head, typically at the Adam's apple, then stand around chatting for the next three hours about what field they really wanted to be in. Then, the surgeons walk to the nearest bar and meet up with the lawyers and the realtors who work nearby. Patient is wheeled out and then billed outrageously. The head is then sold at auction, most often to a modern headhunter.
Medical Decapitation has a colorful history, both as a medical treatment and as a plastic surgery. It was invented in circa 4200 BC by a potter named Clyde in the city of Babylon. Legend holds that he performed it upon himself, thereby eliminating the possibility of being sued if complications arose, but malpractice insurance was good back then, making it unlikely. More probable is that he performed the procedure upon his wife, who had gone insane after Clyde left the lid up on the toilet for the third day in a row. Apparently the results were good, as we still know his name. Recently archaeologists have found a list of inmates of the worlds first prison, which included a Clyde. This leads to speculation as to why he was put there.
From the Babylonians, head decapitation was brought to the ancient Egyptians. There it took on a social significance, being used as a cosmetic surgery to remove unpleasant facial features. After the surgery, patient's heads were often replaced with the heads of revered animals, thereby bringing praise to them. Through their artwork, it can be easily seen how often head decapitation was used.
The next major civilization to utilize head decapitation were the Greeks. They used it to treat smallpox, tuberculosis, influenza, Ebola, bubonic plague, acne, the common cold, AIDS, depression, rubella, ingrown toenails (debatably), and warts. It was also found to be quite attractive, as can be seen in some of their remaining statues.
The Romans found medical decapitation not to their liking. Neither did the Mongolians. They were too infatuated with their own extreme methods of medicine to appreciate the subtleties of medical decapitation.
The next major group to use medical decapitation extensively was the Roman Catholic Church. In the midst of the Dark Ages, medicine was at a low. Few procedures lasted as well as decapitation. When the Black Death came around, medical decapitation was often used to relieve the sufferer of pain. Later, during the Spanish Inquisition, decapitation was the only form of medicine allowed the heretics, as they wanted only the best for their prisoners. In the past 200 years, there has been a decline in the Catholic Church's use of medical decapitation.
The nation to use medical decapitation the most extensively were the French at the turn of the 19th century. Due to the spread of the dreaded disease patriotism, whole towns were treated with decapitation to stem the spread. Even the king and queen had the treatment. During this period, the greatest leap in medicine up to that time came about. The guillotine, invented by a Frenchman (of course) made the procedure much faster and more effective. This invention was what allowed the French to treat such masses of people in such a short period.
Head Decapitation Today
Today medical decapitation isn't as widespread as in yesteryear. Alternative treatments with lower costs have replaced it, rendering it mostly a recreational procedure.
The most common place medical decapitation is used is in the arena of video games. Oftentimes, the procedure's success is paired with the phrase "head shot". Sociologists are studying this behavior, learning the rituals that go along with such activities, such as the intriguing dialogue between participants, which seem to be much akin to rams butting heads. It is thought that video game play may be used as a way to attract a mate, though the results tend to show the opposite reaction.
Another way medical decapitation is used is the field of cryogenics. People will occasionally state in their will that they wish for their head to be frozen, in hopes that future societies will revive them, allowing them a future life. It has been noted that most often that the wills stating thus are typically those of people who are best described as "nut jobs".
Today, medical decapitation has found many uses. Maybe someday it may be rendered useless, but it seems unlikely at this time.