Intended for healthcare professionals


Surgeon amputated healthy legs

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 05 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:332
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A surgeon in Scotland amputated the legs of two psychologically disturbed men who had nothing physically wrong with them but felt a “desperate” need to be amputees, it emerged this week.

    Both men, one from England and one from Germany, had a rare type of body dysmorphic disorder known as apotemnophilia, in which patients are convinced from childhood that they will be normal only once a limb has been removed. The obsession is always with the removal of a specific limb, and each patient had a leg amputated above the knee.

    The operations were carried out in …

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