Skip to main content

Original Twitter thread by Mia Hughes

In the 90s, Dr. Robert Smith, a surgeon at Falkirk Royal Infirmary, performed leg amputations on two men. Both men were perfectly healthy but suffering from apotemnophilia, a psychiatric condition involving the desire to have healthy limbs amputated. 

Sufferers claim not to feel whole with four limbs and obsess over having their unwanted body parts chopped off. Smith argued the surgeries were life-saving, claiming the patients would commit suicide otherwise. Apotemnophiles, like autogynephiles, will insist that there is no erotic element, but it was later discovered that one of the men Smith operated on ran an amputee fetish website. Upon investigation, the hospital deemed the procedures unethical; Smith was banned from mutilating healthy bodies, and the ethically dubious experiment ended. 

But let’s imagine for a moment an alternate reality. A world in which a powerful apotemnophile lobby group succeeds in convincing society that apotemnophile rights is the next civil rights movement. Their message is simple: Anyone who identifies as an amputee is an amputee. 

Activists insist that some people are born with innate amputee identities, and they are the most oppressed people in the world. They declare it apotemnophobic to say that humans are bipedal. Anyone who dares express such heresy deserves to have their life and career ruined. 

Imagine there were a sudden 4000% increase in teens identifying as amputees, but we were all forbidden from being concerned. Instead we were supposed to celebrate it. Most of the kids were gay or lesbian, or autistic. Almost all suffered from multiple psychiatric comorbidities.


Parents of kids with supposedly innate amputee identities were expected to rejoice at the thought of their child undergoing the amputation of a healthy limb, and protesters took to the streets to demand that these children become a part of this barbaric medical experiment. 








Imagine schools teaching children as young as kindergarten that some people have amputee identities, that they get to choose how many limbs they have. Posters promoting body mutilation adorned the walls of many classrooms. 

Kids shows started featuring amputee characters, so children with innate amputee identities could see themselves represented. Then, as if in lock step, the number of kids identifying as amputees increased. Mention of the possibility of social contagion was viciously suppressed. 

Imagine celebrities coming out as amputees and posing on the cover of magazines after they’ve had their perfectly healthy limbs chopped off, and everyone applauding their bravery and lavishing them with attention and adoration. 

Able-bodied people with innate amputee identities began taking disabled parking spots and using disabled bathrooms for validation. Any actual disabled person who objected was labeled apotemno-exclusionary and deserving of being so vilified they don’t dare speak. 

Imagine children’s hospitals making promotional videos with soft music playing while doctors explain the amputation process to kids, promising immediate affirmation of a kid’s amputee identity. Laws were passed making helping a child accept all their limbs conversion therapy. 






Imagine surgeons advertising their ghoulish amputation services to teens on social media, and posing proudly with their young patients as they show off their new stump, or making quirky videos lamenting only having four leg amputations booked for that week. 

Imagine if a wave of young people missing limbs started to speak out about the regret they felt about sacrificing their healthy body parts while they were going through a teen mental health crisis, but those people were silenced and accused of being hateful apotemnophobes. 








That world is obviously mad, but our reality is worse. Because along with healthy body parts, teens today are sacrificing their fertility and sexual function on the altar of gender,before they even understand what that means, making this truly one of humanity’s darkest moments.