Emerging 'Transabled' Movement Rallies Physician Support for Amputating Healthy Limbs

Most handicapped people would give almost anything to have their mobility restored. So why do these healthy people desire to lose that?
Most handicapped people would give almost anything to have their mobility restored. So why do these healthy people desire to lose that? (Flickr/Neil Conway)

On the heels of the transgender movement's recent gains comes another element of the greater trans movement: the transabled. Healthy people with fully functional bodies who believe that some element of their body should be disabled, the advocates of transablility are looking to use transgenderism's visibility and unprecedented acceptance level to bring attention to its own psychological disorder.

While almost everyone analyzing the feelings and desires of those who identify as transabled recognize it as a psychological disorder—much like psychologists and the greater medical community did until recently with transgenderism—one prominent voice on the issue is pushing for the doctors to administer unnecessary amputations, blindings and other injuries upon their patients to bring the patient peace.

So much for the Hippocratic Oath. "Do no harm," indeed.

Clive Baldwin, an associate professor of social work at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, spoke with a radio program on Sunday on the subject. Host Aaron Klein asked Baldwin a logical question in this line of thinking, but Baldwin's answer surprised many.

"Do you think that in Western civilization, therefore, doctors should indeed amputate an arm, or a leg or make somebody paralyzed or make somebody blind who is suffering from this issue—from being transabled?" Klein asked. "Do you think that we should go there?"

"After long, hard consideration, yes, that is a medical option to deal with this condition," Baldwin replied. "It's not a decision that is or should be taken lightly, but it's one medical option to deal with it."

Baldwin, who is becoming an outspoken voice on transability after conducting interviews with more than three dozen transabled people throughout the world, has made headlines several times in recent weeks as the movement begins to gain visibility.

"[I]t's usually a very specific disability that people want," he said. "It might be an above-left-knee amputation, or a right-below-elbow amputation. Some people want to be paralyzed. They don't want their legs to work."

Seemingly paradoxically, actually having these injuries visited upon themselves reportedly can make the transabled person feel "empowered," according to Baldwin. That is to say, a man who once could see perfectly well and run a marathon might feel more "empowered" as a blind, paralytic confined to a wheelchair.

"Certainly those people who have had an amputation, they have [experienced] physical feelings of relief, they feel more confident in themselves. They feel empowered," Baldwin said. "Having one arm or one leg is actually empowering. Our society has difficulty with that idea, I think, that having a disability is empowering."

Despite the push to gain acceptance for these extreme measures, many aren't buying it. Marsha West of Berean Research believes this is just part of a larger problem in our society today as the lines between "right" and "wrong"—or even the existence of the concepts altogether—are blurred into oblivion.

"What's really at issue here is that it's no longer deemed appropriate to view people as having psychological disorders—and the fact of the matter is that trans-people do have a psychological disorder," West wrote in a recent blog post. "Because the Left is bent on making the most perverted and bizarre human behaviors 'normal,' pretty much anything goes in our moral relativistic society."

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