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Ritual, Punitive, Legal and Iatrogenic Causes

Summary

Ritual, punitive and legal amputations confer no medical advantage in curing local pain, in removing deformity, infection or gangrene, or in saving lives, and only iatrogenic causes, leading to urgent section, can be considered to approximate to an accidental cause for elective amputation, as discussed in Chapter 3. More than a dozen reasons for ritual finger loss are described, practised by many communities on a worldwide scale, in which process the female is the predominant loser. How long these practices have existed is unknown, whereas it is probable punitive amputations have a more-extensive history arising on the battlefield or within intertribal feuds. Purely legal amputations are likely to be more recent. Instinctive efforts to straighten and bind fractures tightly to stop painful movement must also have a long history, although complications such as established gangrene had no effective remedy until recent centuries.

Keywords

Limb Amputation Joint Injury Primitive Surgery Anonymous Report Painful Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

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