Nevin Manimala Statistics

The Desirability of Difference: Georges Canguilhem and Body Integrity Identity Disorder

J Med Philos. 2022 Dec 23;47(6):711-722. doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhac027.


Opponents of the provision of therapeutic, healthy limb amputation in Body Integrity Identity Disorder cases argue that such surgeries stand in contrast to the goal of medical practice – that of health restoration and maintenance. This paper refutes such a conclusion via an appeal to the nuanced and reflective model of health proposed by Georges Canguilhem. The paper examines the conceptual entanglement of the statistically common with the normatively desirable, arguing that a healthy body can take multiple forms, including that of an amputee, provided that such a form enables the continuing ability to initiate new norms of existence. It concludes that the practice of healthy limb amputation in cases of Body Integrity Identity Disorder is not only compatible with the goal of medicine but is potentially the only method of achieving this goal in the face of a complex and often mischaracterized disorder.

PMID:36562839 | DOI:10.1093/jmp/jhac027

By Nevin Manimala

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