…Mark Goddard of Newton Abbot in Devon is not a man afraid to take his medical destiny into his own
Mark Goddard has been in constant pain since he was involved in a motorbike crash 16 years ago.
But after an unsuccessful two-year campaign to have his nerve shattered hand surgically removed, he decided to do it himself.
He rigged up a home-made guillotine using an axe with a weight strapped to it, to ensure it would have enough power to amputate his hand.
The first blow sliced though the bone but didn’t sever all the tendons, leaving his hand hanging off a bloodied stump.
He then used a surgeon’s scalpel to cut through the remaining tissues before dropping the remains into a bin, which he later filled with charcoal and set alight – in order to prevent his hand being re-attached.
That was the Express. The Mirror adds some more details:
Mark spent two weeks designing the guillotine and ensured his wife and son were out before he severed his hand.
He tied two tourniquets above his forearm to reduce blood flow and had a first aid kit nearby.
Mark wants a device called a spinal stimulator implanted into his back to ease the nerve pain.
He said he was “reasonably hopeful” his wish would be granted after receiving a more sympathetic hearing from doctors and psychiatrists in the wake of his dramatic protest two weeks ago.
A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said: “Police received a call from the ambulance service to say a man had cut his hand off.
“We were concerned he might have a knife and be a risk to himself or others.
“Units attended and upon arrival a 44-year-old man had indeed cut his hand off. He was otherwise rational.
While it is not the place of the police to criticise the behaviour of citizens who have remained within the law, it would be a harsh judge who held it against the police spokesman quoted that the placement of his penultimate word did imbue his observations with a slightly ironical tone.
I totally support Mr Goddard’s right to do as he pleases with his own body, sympathise with the suffering that led him to take such a desperate measure, applaud the practical and rational way he went about it, and very much hope that the NHS will be persuaded to take his pain seriously in future, but I am not sure I would recommend his method. Hands up who thinks it was a good idea? (Er, not you, Mark.)