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Shaped To Fit! Melanie Latham 2


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jan norton

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  • 1. Shaped to Fit?: Teenagers, autonomy and cosmetic surgery. Melanie Latham Reader in Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, Changing Up a Gear Conference, Manchester, 11 th September 2008.
  • 2. Statistics
    • Members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons carried out 10,738 procedures in 2002 and 22,041 in 2005.
    • Researchers Mintel estimated that 100,000 Botox injections carried out in 2004 in UK alone.
    • Mintel estimate cosmetic medicine market worth £539m 2006 (£1bn 2009).
  • 3. Teenagers
    • Numbers
    • Procedures
    • Comparative data
  • 4.  
  • 5. High level of risk
    • Risks include: general anaesthetic risks death, heavy blood loss, bruising and a high risk of infection.
    • Silicone-induced cancers, autoimmune disorders, depression and suicide.
    • Dr. Gustaf Aniansson caused septicaemia, kidney failure, heart attack.
    • Dr. David Herbert called a psychopath.
    • Dr. Steven James Walker nicknamed ‘Dr. Death’.
  • 6. Low level of regulation
    • Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977
    • Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
    • Consumer Protection Act 1987
    • Medical Devices (Amendment) Regulation 2003
    • Care Standards Act 2000
    • Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003
  • 7. Care Standards Act 2000
    • National Care Standards Commission
    • National minimum standards
    • Annual inspection
    • Appropriately qualified practitioners
    • Informed consent and counselling
    • Formal complaints procedure
    • HSC (CHS) Act 2003
    • Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection
    • (aka the Healthcare Commission) from April 2004
    • Expert Group on Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery : Report to Chief Medical Officer (January 2005)
  • 8. Risks associated with self-regulation
    • General Medical Council (GMC)
    • British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)
    • British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)
    • British Association of Cosmetic Surgeons (BACS)
  • 9. Cosmetic Surgery Cases
    • Christine Williamson v East London and the City Health Authority
    • Norton v GMC
    • O’Keefe v Harvey-Kemble
  • 10. Teenagers and the Law
    • Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbeck AHA.
    • Consent of teenager over 16 equivalent to adult. (Family Law Reform Act 1969, s.8)
    • Can a teenager under 16 consent to cosmetic surgery? If surgeon considers her mature enough to understand what cosmetic surgery entails physically and emotionally?
    • Gillick competent minor has right to confidentiality, but surgeon may face civil suit for battery or prosecution for criminal assault without parental consent, in cases of extremely invasive and risky surgery.
  • 11. Beauty and autonomy
    • “For virtually all women, as women, success is defined in terms of interlocking patterns of compulsion: compulsory attractiveness, compulsory motherhood, and compulsory heterosexuality, patterns that determine the legitimate aims of attraction and motherhood.” (K.P. Morgan, 1991)
  • 12. Self-determination and autonomy
    • “I can treat women’s ongoing struggles to justify a contradictory practice like cosmetic surgery as a resource for developing a feminist response which speaks to women’s experiences rather than simply reiterating the correct line on women’s involvement in the beauty system.” (Kathy Davis, 1995)
  • 13. Conclusions
    • Patients who choose cosmetic surgery may be fully aware of their reasons and the risks involved. They may only be choosing to utilise the rewards on offer after transforming themselves.
    • Can women be empowered through body modification?
    • How far does this apply to teenagers?