Amputees & Wannabes

Why do some people want to amputate a perfectly healthy limb? Stories from people who study — and suffer from — Body Integrity Identity Disorder.


Peter Brugger: Animation and incarnation


When I think about voluntary amputations, I can hardly remember how I felt fifteen years ago. Back then, I was a young neuroscientist studying a rare type of “phantom limb” patient — people who were born without an arm or a leg, but who experienced phantom sensations from the limbs they never had. I wondered why I should care about crazy people who…


Erich Kasten: Doctors don’t understand Body Integrity Identity Disorder


What do doctors typically say when confronted with someone who wishes to amputate a perfectly healthy limb? I have been studying people who have this desire, known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) ,since 2006. Many of the patients I have met complained that they were misdiagnosed as psychotic or…


BIID: Not just for amputee-wannabees


I first became aware of voluntary amputation in 1998, when I got a telephone call from a producer at the BBC. He told me was making a programme about two people who each wanted to have a leg removed, even though there was nothing wrong with the limb. The producer wanted to know how the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual…


Anna Sedda: We don’t know enough about our bodies — or our brains


When I first told my grandmother that I had started studying people who want to amputate their arms or legs, she was…


Photostory: Losing a limb, becoming whole


In September of last year, I asked photographer Brian Lee to visit a man with an unusual past.


Why would somebody want to remove a healthy limb?

Do No Harm: winner of the Association of British Science Writers award for investigative journalism.

Amputees & Wannabes
Amputees & Wannabes

Why do some people want to amputate a perfectly healthy limb? Stories from people who study — and suffer from — Body Integrity Identity Disorder.

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