Wednesday, May 14, 2003


It's something a few people have e-mailed me about but a link from Lynn G has prompted me to write about it.

It means an attraction to the idea of being an amputee -- and can be distinguished from "acrotomophilia" -- a sexual attraction to amputees (which is something I've touched on but am still making my mind up about and will return to in future.)

Perversion? Body image disorder? I don't know. I'm not a psychiatrist and so I'm in no position to judge. Nevertheless, from where I'm sitting, anyone who can calmly come out with quotes like "I will never feel truly whole with legs" is disturbed at the very least. Even so, the case of the doctor in Falkirk who cut off the healthy legs of two patients who wanted to be amputated is a fascinating one -- especially as both have declared how much happier they are post-amputation.

I'd imagine I'm as repulsed and yet intrigued as anyone else by the idea of someone freely choosing to undergo an amputation -- especially as I now know at first hand what it entails and what the consequences are. I simply can't imagine anyone asking to undergo a form of surgery that I had no option over. Ultimately, though, in a free society people should be free to do to themselves whatever they choose; drink heavily, smoke themselves to death or have their legs cut off. Who am I to tell them otherwise?

Anyway, follow the link and make your own mind up -- then post your thoughts on the message board.

Atlantic Monthly -- A New Way To Be Mad

Discuss "Beyond Northern Iraq"


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