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May 16, 1936


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service, Cook County Hospital.

JAMA. 1936;106(20):1708-1710. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770200014005

Wounds self inflicted in suicidal attempts,and self mutilations by the obviously insane, the religious fanatics, the malingerers and the professional beggars of certain countries, are too well known to merit comment. When these are excluded, there remains a group of individuals known to have subjected themselves to their own surgery for therapeutic reasons, either actually or, supposedly indicated. Recorded cases of this type would seem to fall into one of perhapsfour major groups:

  1. Surgeons who have operated on themselves.

  2. Normal minded individuals who have been forced by severe pain or in the absence of medical attention to perform autosurgery..

  3. The sexual perverts and those suffering from an acute psychosis, intense sexual excitement, or anger resultingin selfinflicted mutilations or amputations, usually of the genitalia.

  4. Those who, because of utter ignorance or feeblemindedness, have attempted the surgical correction of some obvious disease or abnormality.

GROUP 1  One of the