Jorge's Quest For Knowledge!

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(2006-06-12) Is This Part Of My Body Mine, Or Somebody Else’s?

Posted by Jorge on 2006-06-12


Last sunday, just before going to sleep I was reading some information about Active Directory. In the meanwhile Nelleke, my girlfriend, was watching some tv. She was watching a program that suddenly caught my attention. Why? What was that program about? Well, IMO it was weird I stopped reading!

This program was about people, for some reason, having the feeling/thought that some part of their body (an arm or a leg) did not belong to that body and those people felt unhappy because of that. According to those people, the one and only solution was to "remove" that body part permanently. Yes, believe it or not "remove it permanently!".

There was one woman (according to the doctor, the first woman he ever met that wanted this) that felt that both her legs did not belong to her body and because of that she was very unhappy about it. She had a "self-made" plan ready for how she was going to do "it" on her own if in case there was no doctor that was going to help her with it. Before even going to a doctor she first visited a psychiatrist that needed to evaluate her to see if something mentally was wrong or if she was thinking OK. Believe it or not (sorry, but for me this is difficult to believe/accept) but both the psychiatrist and the doctor believed she was mentally OK based on what she told the psychiatrist and the doctor. So, what was her wish? According to her story she could become more happy my loosing both her legs. Yes, you are reading this correct. She asked the doctor to amputate BOTH her legs as high as possible above the knee as she felt those legs did not belong to the body she had. I was like: "come again!?". For me, this is really very difficult to understand. How the heck can someone be happy by not having both legs anymore, while at the moment NOTHING was wrong with those legs. She was able to do everything she wanted, AND she still wanted the doctor to amputate her legs. She even practiced in the weekend by doing everything in a wheelchair.

After the doctor told her about all the possible risks of doing such am operation (worst case scenario: death!), she still want to go ahead and let it happen. You can imagine that such an operation is irreversible, even if successful!

Another guy, with a similar story, had the same idea. The main difference was he only wanted to amputate one leg, his right leg.

This really is hard to believe for me. Based on the things I do every day and the hobbies I like, I cannot imagine how it is not to have legs. I do understand people better that really have to make that awful choice, because of a disease or accident.

Cheers,
Jorge
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