EXCLUSIVE: The Shocking Story of the Woman Who Says She Chose to Blind Herself

(Hollywood, CA – November 3, 2015) – In a daytime television exclusive, the woman who says she shockingly chose to blind herself by dropping drain cleaner into her eyes to fulfill her lifelong dream of being blind will appear on DR. PHIL and THE DOCTORS to discuss her motivations for this drastic life-altering choice and the subsequent consequences that resulted from her startling decision. The story airs on DR. PHIL and THE DOCTORS on Thursday, November 5 (check local listings).

Jewel Shuping, 30, believes she has Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a rare condition in which able-bodied people truly believe they are meant to be disabled. Shuping says her desire to lose her sight was so strong that as a teen she practiced blindsimming, the act of going through the world as a blind person by blindfolding herself, using a cane and becoming fluent in braille. To ultimately achieve blindness, Shuping says she eventually dropped drain cleaner into her eyes.

On DR. PHIL, Shuping, who says she is now legally blind and satisfied with her condition, tells her story of losing her sight and how it has affected her life. She also explains that she has had trouble being accepted into the blind community. Dr. Phil discusses the repercussions of Shuping’s horrific choices, examines some seeming inconsistencies in her story and exposes some very real truths about BIID. BIID Expert Dr. Michael First and ER physician and host of THE DOCTORS, Dr. Travis Stork, join the discussion to impart the full range of medical and psychological issues involved. Does Shuping regret her life-altering decision? If she had the opportunity to regain her eyesight, would she take it?

On THE DOCTORS, Jewel visits ophthalmologist Dr. Kerry Assil to assess the extent of the chemical’s damage to her eyes, and to determine if there is any possibility of restoring her vision. Dr. Assil finds that the chemicals completely ate through the surfaces of her eyes and therefore, her left eye was completely lost and replaced with a prosthetic. Jewel is currently suffering from an infection that is a direct result of the prosthetic. Although the fact that she had willingly done this to herself was unbeknownst to the doctors who immediately treated Jewel, it was very evident that they worked extensively to save her eye sight. THE DOCTORS discuss the medical ramifications of Jewel’s actions and try to make sense of her intentions from both the physiological perspective, as licensed physicians, and with Dr. Phil’s help, from the psychological angle.

Select quotes:

“It was a very violent burning. The drain cleaner ate through my cornea. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was a full 10. I couldn’t do anything but scream.”
- Jewel Shuping on the experience of having drain cleaner dropped into her eyes on DR. PHIL.

“Are you having a problem because you’re not telling the truth?”
- Dr. Phil to Jewel Shuping on her seemingly inconsistent stories regarding the circumstances of her blindness on DR. PHIL.

“I cannot imagine one physician who would willingly get to a point where they blind a patient intentionally, and that’s to me, what makes this diagnosis so very difficult.”
- Dr. Travis Stork on identifying and treating BIID on THE DOCTORS.

DR. PHIL is produced by Peteski Productions in association with CBS Television Distribution, which also distributes the show. Carla Pennington and Dr. Phillip C. McGraw are the executive producers.

THE DOCTORS is the Emmy® Award-winning, nationally syndicated, daytime series airing in over 200 markets and around the world. Taped in front of a live audience in Hollywood, The Doctors is produced by Stage 29 Productions and distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Jay McGraw, Carla Pennington, Patricia Ciano, Jeff Hudson and Dr. Phil McGraw are executive producers.

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