Could someone be amputated by own request?

Let’s say that I decide that I no longer like my left arm and I want it gone. I talk with psychologists, social workers, bla bla bla bla bla bla, and everyone agrees - I don’t want my left arm. It is in perfect working condition, I have no mental disorder, I have no life-threatning diseases. I just want my arm gone. Would that be possible? I have seen cases where people feel that a part of their body does not belong, and there are cases of people sawing their own limbs out, but… Could someone who has no reason at all to remove their left arm actually remove their left arm with a doctor?

It’s been done, but it’s also a big ethical point in medicine, as I understand it. Wanting to have a healthy limb amputated has been defined as a mental disorder in and of itself: look up “Body Integrity Identity Disorder” or “Apotemnophilia.”

There’s a documentary out there about this. I saw it once years and years ago, I remember it being pretty interesting. The trick it to find a doctor (or all the right doctors) who are willing to do the surgery before you end up with more serious mental problems and try to take the limb off yourself. As I recall, the film interviewed one man who shot his leg off with a shotgun and someone else who tried to cut something off with a knife or saw. Whether they were doing because they were trying to actually get rid of it themselves or because they knew it would result in an emergency amputation, I don’t remember.

It is an issue of medical ethics - doctors have a duty to “first, do no harm” - Is the harm produced by removing the limb less than the harm of making the patient retain it. In most cases, doctors fall on the side of making the patient retain the limb - it isn’t rational to desire the removal of a perfectly healthy body part, so the desire to do so is indicative of a real illness (Body Integrity Identity Disorder), which it the real illness that should be treated.

However, there may be a few cases where it has happened.

on preview: ninja’d

I’ve read about a guy who did this. He couldn’t find anyone to do it, so, he stuck his leg in a bucket of ice all day until it was unsalvageable.

He didn’t regret the decision.

It does show you’re in your right mind.

OP suggests a classic Darwin Award set-up.

Let’s say the award itself will consist of the two-step process of (1) letting these people go ahead and self-amputate, and (2) withholding medical treatment from them, except maybe for pain meds.

The gene pool will be forever grateful.

I had three surgeries on my right big toe for ingrown toenail. The last surgery the doc went ahead and made it so that the whole thing would not grow back.

Years later, my left big toe started to have problems. When I went in to see the doc (a different one by this time) I told him to cut to the chase and make it so the whole thing never grows back.

He denied my request and told me it’s a process we have to go through. Three surgeries later, I finally had the whole thing removed.

I saw a thing on TV about a guy in germany who had his hand removed because he hated it and it drove him crazy his whole life. There’s a name for the disorder, like limb rejection syndrome or something like that.

But I think anyone should have the right to have a body part removed if they want to. “That’s crazy” is no reason to deny people their freedom. It’s also crazy to bunjee jump and skydive and especially to free-dive (go down 200 feet on one breath with no tank).

A friend of mine has chronic pain in his knees due to CP. Due to moronic drug warriors and scare tactics over opioids it’s become harder and harder for him to get the pain medicine he needs. I’ve suggested he get his legs amputated above the knees. He already can’t walk. He says no, but it’s what I would do if I were in his situation and had people telling me they are too afraid of the government to give me enough Oxycontin.

Oxycontin is not the only extended-release opioid.

It is, however the drug that was sold as “absolutely safe” to prescribe, causing thousands of docs who would be reluctant to prescribe an opioid to start writing script - and flood the illegal market (which loved even more than did the legitimate users).
Now, everybody is paying because of Purdue Pharma’s lies about its “safety”.

I use Morphine Sulphate ER (brand: MS Contin) - an extended-release morphine, prescribed by PCP, who also prescribes my blood pressure meds.

I’m pretty sure if you want to be as precise as the OP, then any medical system related at all to the Hippocratic Oath would excommunicate your “doctor” immediately, meaning they wouldn’t be one anymore.

But anyway… what would you have instead of an arm? I guess… some hooks?

It’s from the year 2000, but this Atlantic magazine item might shed some light on the condition:

A New Way to Be Mad.


Shame the original page that inspired that thread is gone… I wonder what became of that girl? Did she live the dream and get her DORRANCE #5X STAINLESS STEEL HOOKS, or did she live an ordinary, humdrum, two handed life? I guess we’ll never know.

I became interested in this topic after watching a British documentary a few years ago, as mentioned by another poster. I remember reading, do not remember the source, (or it may have been mentioned in the documentary) that now in Britain if you request amputation you are required to see a psychiatrist for a year or so, and after this, if the psychiatrist finds you to be of sound mind, and you still want the amputation, that the National health service will do it for you.

As I said, I do not remember the source for this, and maybe I am hallucinating it.

Heh, I, too, immediately thought of DORRANCE #5X STAINLESS STEEL HOOKS when I read the thread title.

It’s rumored among the “wannabe” community that people have flown to other countries to have foreign doctors do an amputation (or two).

This may be apocryphal, but it seems plausible to me.

Don’t people have their penises cut off all the time?

“Disorder” is a fluid concept.

I’m not aware of a lot of penis removal going on. If you’re referring to transsexuals, from what I gather the operation these days is more akin to turning the penis inside-out, not removing it.

I mean, I sure there are genuine eunuchs out there, I just don’t think it’s common.

That’s more than a little judgmental. Is there any evidence that this condition is genetic?

You are 100% right- it is completely, utterly, totally, absolutely judgmental. And as for the gene pool, why take a chance?