My body my choice” appears to be the new rallying cry of people who want to have their limbs cut off by surgeons. No, they are not diseased limbs. As a matter of fact, they are perfectly healthy; at least physically. But in our strange world of moral ambiguity, there are some who think cutting off people’s perfectly healthy body parts is a completely rational medical procedure. Take the following as one example:

Should surgeons be permitted to amputate healthy limbs if patients request such operations? We argue that if such patients are experiencing significant distress as a consequence of the rare psychological disorder named Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), such operations might be permissible… BIID sufferers meet reasonable standards for rationality and autonomy: so as long as no other effective treatment for their disorder is available, surgeons ought to be allowed to accede to their requests.

Such is the thinking outlined in a medical ethics article entitled Amputees By Choice: Body Integrity Identity Disorder and the Ethics of Amputation Some words of sanity are offered by Wesley J. Smith who writes on the The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) website:

For people of common sense, the answer is obvious: NO! First, who but a severely mentally disturbed person would want a healthy leg, arm, hand, or foot cut off? Such people need treatment, not amputation. Second, physicians are duty bound to “do no harm,” that is, they should refuse to provide harmful medical services to patients—no matter how earnestly requested. (Thus, if I were convinced that my appendix was actually a cancerous tumor, that would not justify my doctor acquiescing to my request for an appendectomy.) Finally, once the limb is gone, it is gone for good. Acceding to a request to be mutilated would amount to abandoning the patient.But according to Bayne and Levy, and a minority of other voices in bioethics and medicine, the need to respect personal autonomy is so near-absolute that it should even permit doctors to cut off the healthy limbs of “amputee wannabes.” After all, the authors write, “we allow individuals to mould their body to an idealized body type ” in plastic surgery—a desire that is “more problematic than the desire for amputation” since cosmetic surgery “reinforces a very unfortunate emphasis on appearance over substance.” (Emphasis within the text.) moreover, the authors claim in full post modernist mode, just because a limb is biologically healthy, does not mean that the leg is real. Indeed, they argue, “a limb that is not experienced as one’s own is not in fact one’s own.”

Is it any wonder that Western culture has come to this place?

  • Who in their right mind would want to cut off a perfectly healthy working pair of legs?
  • Who in their right mind would want to tear apart a perfectly healthy human body?
  • Who in their right mind would kill a perfectly healthy baby in the womb?

My Body My Choice” is the mantra that justifies the abortion of helpless babies, euthanasia of the terminally ill, surgery to reinforce trans-gendered migration, and now the amputation of perfectly healthy body parts. How far will society go before it turns back to God; the only one who can heal such illness?

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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