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Monday, February 4, 2013

Heart of the MATTER: Why do some people want to amputate a perfectly healthy limb? And why would any doctor help them?

"MATTER" styles itself as "the new home for in-depth, independent journalism about the ideas that are shaping our future". The founders say it isn't quite a website, it's not really a magazine, and it's not exactly a book publisher either: "Instead, MATTER is something else — a new model for high-quality journalism...."

MATTER has published three articles so far. The debut piece, "Do No Harm", made quite a splash, with The Guardian publishing an exclusive extract. MATTER later produced two more long-form, narrative features.

THE COVER PAGE OF "DO NO HARM".

In "Do No Harm", a disturbing story by science writer Anil Ananthaswamy, we learn about a psychological disorder that causes some people to want to amputate a perfectly healthy limb. "The feelings the condition generates are extraordinarily powerful — so strong," Ananthaswamy says, "that sufferers often seek out the most radical of treatments, and a few unorthodox surgeons risk their reputations to assist."

Read the Guardian extract here: "Please amputate this leg: it's not mine".

Here, via the MATTER website, you can view a slideshow of exclusive images from the story: "Do No Harm".