Issues Magazine

Articles about body identity integrity disorder

Amputating Healthy Limbs

By Christopher Ryan

Should people with body identity integrity disorder be allowed to amputate a healthy limb?

Jill has two normal legs, but she wants one of them chopped off.

Otherwise, Jill (not her real name) is perfectly normal. She is 48 and a married mother of two. She is a business woman and successfully manages three city gift shops. In her spare time, she is manager of her 10-year-old’s soccer team.

Jill’s only complaint is her left leg. Specifically, it is her foot and shin up to exactly 4 cm below her left knee. She can draw a line around her leg at the exact point. Above that line, her leg is perfectly normal.