AN American woman removed her own tonsils because she could not afford to pay for the operation, according to a report in Doctor. Using a pair of sharp scissors, a strategically angled mirror and liberal amounts of topical painkillers, she removed the offending articles piece by piece over several weeks. The procedure was apparently an unqualifed success, says Dr Tony Copperfield, a GP from Essex, and showed a 'degree of initiative . . . for her health above and beyond the call of duty'.