05 Aug 2019
This commissioned background paper sets the growth of aesthetic or cosmetic procedures in their social, legal and medical context.
The author was commissioned by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics to write this paper in order to inform the Council’s discussions about possible future work on this topic. The paper is intended to provide an overview of key clinical, ethical, social, legal and policy issues, but is not intended to offer any conclusions or recommendations regarding future policy and practice. Any views expressed in the paper are the author’s own and not those of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
Cosmetic procedures: ethical issues
Find out more about in-depth inquiry into cosmetic procedures
Donna Dickenson, Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities, University of London
This paper sets the growth of aesthetic or cosmetic procedures in their social, legal and medical context. It outlines the complex ethical issues raised by aesthetic procedures, including but transcending the issues of autonomy, consent and choice, by also considering the duties of a doctor and the goals of medicine.