Why Some People Want to Amputate Healthy Limbs

handYears ago I wrote a short story in which the wealthiest people of society chose to have their arms amputated as a status symbol. (“I’m so rich that I don’t even have to feed myself or wipe my own ass – I’ve got people for that!”)

Elective amputation is a thing, but the people who are doing it may be motivated by very specific forms of brain dysfunction.

Scientific American investigates:

Certain people hold a deep desire to amputate a healthy limb. They are not psychotic, and they fully realize that what they want is abnormal. Nevertheless, they have felt from childhood that the presence of a specific limb, usually a leg, somehow makes their body “overcomplete.” Ultimately, many will achieve their desired amputation through self-inflicted damage or surgery.

Keep reading.


  • BuzzCoastin

    Ramachandran’s work is extremely interesting stuff

    • Rhoid Rager

      You talking phantom limbs?

      • BuzzCoastin

        everything that dude does is interesting

        • Rhoid Rager


    • neurolux72

      It seems like the exact opposite of phantom limbs. Maybe involves the same brain region?