Forums > Social Discussion > Apotemnophilia - "amputee by choice"

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 4145
Posted:I read a report on this today... it's a condition where people want one or more bodyparts removed in order to be "more complete" - they either don't feel like for example a leg is part of their body, or they feel life in a wheelchair will be better for them, be it for people caring more or for being able to concentrate on the "important" things and have a life less centered on the body cult we have.

Critics say they're doing it for attention and care, and claim that they have to live a lie, because who would feel sympathy for someone who decided to be in a wheelchair?

According to a study, nearly all of them are highly intelligent and educated, too, and spend lots of time reflecting on themselves. Apparently, psychiatric treatment doesn't work for them.

Now, maybe even more so cause I've been "disabled" (well, according to university application forms I am) for most of my life, I'm finding it difficult to accept someone wanting to be less mobile and dependent on others. I would like to go up to them and show them all the accident victims etc in wheelchairs who'd happily take their place. But they seem to know about that, and still want it done.

My questions for discussion are:

1. Do you think it's everybody's right to remove a body part?

2. Do you think it's everybody's right to, by doing that, make their relatives, current and future partners and friends face the decision to look after them for the rest of their life or let them deal with it?

3. Should the health services be required to pay for wheelchairs, care workers etc for those people?

4. If you were a doctor and had a patient like that, would you decide to help them with the amputation (given that it was legal), or refuse and risk them killing themselves in the attempt to do it themselves? (according to what I've read, people have gone to extreme measures there. I won't post the details here though)

To me, it seems a bit like suicide out of depression - it's a psychological conditions, and these people seem unable to live happily with their body intact. So I wouldn't mind for my taxes going into looking after them. I also don't really think it's their "right" as it's not something they choose. I still can't approve, and I don't think I would be able to assist them.


Here's a wiki link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apotemnophilia


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13921
Posted:Written by: Birgit


1. Do you think it's everybody's right to remove a body part?



Sure, it's your right to do whatever you like to your own body.

Written by:

2. Do you think it's everybody's right to, by doing that, make their relatives, current and future partners and friends face the decision to look after them for the rest of their life or let them deal with it?



Ah, but there is where it stops. I can swing my fist and I have that right. But the right to swing my fist ends at your nose. Similarly, if you want to lop off your own legs, then you'd better be prepared to deal with the consequences.

Written by:

3. Should the health services be required to pay for wheelchairs, care workers etc for those people?


Nope. It's an elective procedure and not medically indicated. And an amputation comes with a fair amount of risk. Sorry, unless there's a good reason to require these services, they shouldn't be paid for by insurance.

Written by:

4. If you were a doctor and had a patient like that, would you decide to help them with the amputation (given that it was legal), or refuse and risk them killing themselves in the attempt to do it themselves? (according to what I've read, people have gone to extreme measures there. I won't post the details here though)



I still wouldn't do it. AND I'm allowed to commit a patient for being suicidal. Self-mutilation probably would be justified for commitment, too. After all, it poses a definate danger to oneself.

But the idea that a physician would remove a patient's limb just because the patient didn't want it is absolutely contrary to the entire point of medicine.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Don't you just love how some peoples brains work? I find topics like this are one of the many things that keeps life interesting and fascinating.

Birgit, thanks for posting that wiki link. When I first read your post, my initial reaction was *this has got to be a fetish* but the link proved not only was I wrong, but my definition of fetish was a little to general.

I don't have any problems with someone wanting to remove a body part, but I'm sure my opinion would change if I was faced with the prospect of becoming the primary caregiver to someone who had decided on this as a course of action.

At least someone who is going to do this has the opportunity to plan ahead, like modifying their car, installing ramps etc. before the amputation actually happens. My way of thinking has most amputations being performed as necessary and relatively quickly after the patient has endured some sort of trauma such as stepping on a land mine or maybe a motorcycle accident.

Now as to who pays for it? that's opening a whole other can of worms. Suppose a patient said something like " Doctor, if you don't perform this operation, I'm going to go down to a developing nation and pay cash to have it done there and return home as an accident victim" Suppose the patients chances of surviving the operation were significintly smaller in a developing nation, than at home? Would the surgeon feel ethically obligated to act on the patients desires then?

How do you compare a topic such as this to something like a sex change operation? I think the government here pays for those seeing how it's recognised as a psychological condition. Both topics involve severe body modification and lifestyle changes. so if one's accepted, why not the other.


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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:WRONNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!


i think it's both selfish and stupid for these people to expect sympathy or care, let alone state handouts for a self inflicted affliction


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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:Written by: ravehead

WRONNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!


i think it's both selfish and stupid for these people to expect sympathy or care, let alone state handouts for a self inflicted affliction



So someone who has attempted suicide should be shouted at and then turfed out of the hospital then?

If these people are at the point where they would attempt to remove their own body parts do you really think that their problem is as simple as attention-seeking?

If people with recognised mental illness deserve treatment then I think that people with this condition must also deserve the same. I can't quite resign myself to the fact that going through with their wishes for an amputation would be the best treatment for them though.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to be placed in the position of having to care for someone who has put themselves in that needy position. But then again how much care would they need if left in their previous misery of apotemnophilia?


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Chickpea
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Chickpea

mostly a muppet in need of distraction...
Location: bristol, Australia

Total posts: 305
Posted:in a similar vein, i work in spinal injuries and paralysis and a question a lot of people ask is 'if i can't use my legs anymore wouldnt it be easier to chop them off?' meaning it would be less hassle trying to rearrange your legs when transferring, coping with spasms, worrying about pressure relief etc, but what the majority dont realise is that its hard to balance with paralysis but harder still if you have no legs - most of the things they think will be easier will actually be more difficult.theres a lot you can still do with legs that dont work, and most patients understand this once its been explained, what worries me is that if there are people out there who do this as a personal choice of body modification, they probably dont have the same degree of education regarding the full implications.
lots of waffle but i know what i mean...honest!
becs x


Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

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Mint Sauce
BRONZE Member since Sep 2003

veteran
Location: Lancs England

Total posts: 1453
Posted:hummmm I wouldnt say I agree with it but you all seem to be completely condemning it.

but surly this is exactly the same as having a sex change or Brest implants (ok you dont have to have any one support you after you heal up but still.

and you can get both free on the nhs if you show that you will be a more physiologically balanced person after said operation.????????


I dont know was just thinking??


before i met those lot i thought they'd be a bunch of dreadlocked hippies that smoked, set things on fire ,and drank a lot of tea but then when i met them....oh wait (PyroWill)

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:To answer your initial questions and giving you my personal opinion:



Initially my answers were:



1. Yes! everyone may do as they wish to see whether they may become happy as long as they don't inflict on others.

2. No! if it comes to relatives and friends or society.

Yes! if it comes to partners - as they do it by their own choice

3. No!

4. No I personally wouldn't - I would direct them to a phychiatrist, this kind of help is not included in the oath...



But it's disorder - I understand - not curable.... so I have to review and say almost opposite. As a society we have to deal with what comes up inside. And we can. That's the beauty with it.



To let those pople run away and kill themselves... if the solution to their problem is only to remove that arm, or leg? and after that they are happy for the rest of their lives?



Let'em have it...

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1134921310)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 4145
Posted:In response to Doc, of course you'd try and commit a suicidal person, a self-harmer or a apotemnophiliac (would love to try the spell check on that one and see what it comes up with!!). But if you don't catch them before it's too late, I think it's alright for the tax payer to stick up for them. Not all of them go to see doctors, maybe because they're ashamed or scared, maybe because they think they'll get refused and committed anyways, or maybe because they've looked up similar fates on the web and know how other people have tried to deal with it without doctors...

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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the_poier
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

the 1337 poier
Location: england

Total posts: 346
Posted:yes...i watched csi when there was a guy who had that...he beleived his leg was holding him back and tried to get rid of it buy shooting it, freezing it in dry ice and other stuff eventually he got someone to cut it off with a hacksaw and died because of it...:)

ive got a fuzzbox and im not afraid to use it
R.I.P. gayfest

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13921
Posted:Written by: stout

How do you compare a topic such as this to something like a sex change operation?



Oooohm, that's very interesting.

Hmmm...how do I go about this. I suppose the distinction I could make is that in one case the patient desires a full level of functionality but feels that his/her body does not match his/her gender. In that case, I would argue that in removing the penis and creating a vagina I would argue that I am switching to an approximation of physiologic function, rather than disabling the patient.

Of course, where does one draw the line? I believe doctors should offer ear piercing in the office for a price competitive with retail locations because it's safer to have it done by a medical professional.

But is that mutilation? How about circumcision?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Circumcision on a healthy kid is a type of mutilation I guess. I know it's done for religious reasons usually, but so is female circumcision, which I just can't help but consider a bad mutilation, so how can I draw the line at circumcision of boys? Of course, boys are fine afterwards whereas for girls it's a. done much later and b. leaves them in pain and unable to enjoy sex for a long time or forever as often as not, so I suppose I could draw a line there.

Circumcision for health reasons is fine with me, of course. Though I'm a bit undecided at having your son circumcised just for hygiene reasons, it seems a bit excessive, like removing one's appendix just because it could cause a problem later.

I've definitely seen piercings that cross the line to mutilation though...

Unfortunately with the apotemnophilia a healthy body is what keeps them from feeling healthy in their minds. I'm TRYING to understand that and not seeing it as a mutilation but something that makes them whole, but it just goes against anything I'm convinced of. I hope I'll never be faced with this!


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Written by: Birgit



Unfortunately with the apotemnophilia a healthy body is what keeps them from feeling healthy in their minds. I'm TRYING to understand that and not seeing it as a mutilation but something that makes them whole, but it just goes against anything I'm convinced of. I hope I'll never be faced with this!



think of it like tattoos and peircings - some people feel 'whole' when tattooed or peirced, and others say they art was always beneath their skin, just waiting to come out.


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