In 1997 Robert Smith, a surgeon at the Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary in Scotland, fulfilled one of his patient's deepest desires: he amputated the lower part of the man's left leg. Smith performed a similar operation on a German retiree two years later, the British daily The Independent reported in 2000. Neither procedure was medically necessary. Both patients had told Smith that one of their legs was superfluous and that its mere presence had caused them enduring emotional pain.