Now, let me repeat the key detail, here: the man decided to lop off his own arm with a knife, rather than wait for a few hours until rescuers could arrive. The mysteries abound: how long, exactly, did he wait? How did he react when the rescuers arrived? If the opportunity had later arisen to reattach his arm, but had required him to stay for a few more hours in his hospital bed, would he have checked out in disgust, rather than wait around for the surgeon?
I've been trying to piece together the hypothetical details of this bizarre story in my mind, the better to understand it. For what it's worth, here's my imagined chronology:
It doesn't sound like all that plausible a scenario, I admit--but it's the most charitable one I could think of.