Interesting article at Slate about people who want to have amputations, some of whom are turned on by amputees.
I find paraphilias interesting, but this one particularly so because it's also mixed with issues relating to, for example, transsexuality: specifically, the notion of feeling that your physical body doesn't match your true self, that you would be more yourself if your body were different.
The article's author definitely has an axe to grind—my impression is that he considers apotemnophilia to be a mental illness that should be treated in some way other than actual amputation. And I do agree with him that someone who wants to have a healthy limb amputated should be encouraged to explore other options first. But on the other hand, it seems to me that this falls to a large degree under the freedom to do what you like with your own body. If we as a society let people get piercings, tattoos, and brandings, why should we draw the line at letting them remove limbs?
Yeah, okay, there may be a societal cost: is the person going to be able to work afterward? (In most cases, I assume the answer is yes.) Is part of the financial cost of the surgery going to have to be shouldered by insurance companies or the state? (I have no idea.) But I doubt that those would be most people's primary objections.
But I admit it's a more complex issue than I'm making it sound here. Interesting stuff.