The idea of amputating a completely healthy limb, strikes just about everyone as lunatic when they first hear it. In the paper under discussion however, I argue that not only might it be a sensible treatment in certain (carefully assessed) individuals, but that the medical profession might have a duty to offer amputation to these people. I do this by first describing what we know of body identity identity disorder by a review of the medical literature, and then by a series of ethical arguments.
I am not the first person to have raised this sort of ethical argument. Another guest blogger - Neil Levy - argued similarly some years before. I have the advantage though of being a practising psychiatrist at the University of Sydney, meaning (hopefully) I can bring a clinical perspective to the debate.
At the time I published the paper earlier this year, I had only seen one patient with BIID, but now, as a result of the publicity the paper generated, I have seen five more, and had correspondence with another six or so.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.