The famous amnesiac H.M. died last week. His profound amnesia was the result of experimental brain surgery, which I'd certainly always known. His case is one that all students of psychology and/or neuroscience study.
What I didn't realize until reading the obituary http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/us/05hm.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all
was that the same neurosurgeon who operated on my brother Hart also operated on H.M.
Hart's brain damage was also surgically induced. I think in Hart's case it's fair to say the surgery saved his life, and the same cannot be said of H.M.