Cosmetic procedures: ethical issues


Published 22/06/2017

Report cover cosmetic procedures
Surgery tools
1. To consider, in the light of the many factors that may influence people’s decisions to seek invasive non-reconstructive cosmetic procedures with the aim of enhancing or ‘normalising’ their appearance:

a) The impact on wider society of the growing use of cosmetic procedures, and the socio-cultural contexts that play a role in stimulating demand for those procedures;

b) Whether any particular responsibilities arise for those in the scientific and health sectors who develop, offer and promote cosmetic procedures?

c) What, if any, are the ethical differences between cosmetic procedures and other ways of changing physical appearance, and the relevance of any such differences for professional responsibilities?

d) Whether some procedures are ethically unacceptable, even if consented to?

e) Whether there are certain people, or groups of people, to whom it would be unethical to offer cosmetic procedures, even if they consent to them?

f) Whether further regulatory measures are needed?

2. To engage a wide range of people and organisations in the consideration of these questions.

3. To report and discuss findings and recommendations in appropriate ways to key decision-makers and other stakeholders.