Cosmetic surgery: regulatory challenges in a global beauty market

Griffiths, Danielle and Mullock, Alex (2017) Cosmetic surgery: regulatory challenges in a global beauty market. Healthcare Analysis. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1065-3058

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Abstract

The market for cosmetic surgery tourism is growing with an increase in people travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery. While the reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery abroad may vary the most common reason is financial, but does cheaper surgery abroad carry greater risks? We explore the risks of poorly regulated cosmetic surgery to society generally before discussing how harm might be magnified in the context of cosmetic tourism, where the demand for cheaper surgery drives the market and makes surgery accessible for increasing numbers of people. This contributes to the normalisation of surgical enhancement, creating unhealthy cultural pressure to undergo invasive and risky procedures in the name of beauty. In addressing the harms of poorly regulated surgery, a number of organisations purport to provide a register of safe and ethical plastic surgeons, yet this arguably achieves little and in the absence of improved regulation the risks are likely to grow as the global market expands to meet demand. While the evidence suggests that global regulation is needed, the paper concludes that since a global regulatory response is unlikely, more robust domestic regulation may be the best approach. While domestic regulation may increase the drive towards foreign providers it may also have a symbolic effect which will reduce this drive by making people more aware of the dangers of surgery, both to society and individual physical wellbeing.

Keywords
Cosmetic surgery Regulation Criminal law

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law
K Law > K Law in General. Comparative and uniform Law. Jurisprudence
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Danielle Griffiths D
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 09:53
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 09:53
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76696

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