Philosophy and limb amputation

darklit_arm.jpgAustralian philosophers Tim Bayne and Neil Levy have argued that people who want to be amputees should be allowed to have elective amputations, even if they have healthy limbs.

This unusual desire has been labelled ‘body integrity identity disorder‘ or BIID by psychiatrists.

It has caused much ethical concern among doctors who are bound by the hippocratic oath to ‘do no harm’, but are faced with some patients wanting healthy limbs removed.

Bayne and Levy argue that such people are not “globally irrational”, and should be considered to have the capacity to make such decisions about their body.

Tim Bayne has previously done work on delusions and rationality, and has extended this analysis into applied ethics.

Link to story from ABC News.
Link to study abstract.
Link to Tim Bayne’s homepage with full-text publications.

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