Picture Perfect Essay

Submitted By Lexie-Benton
Words: 1908
Pages: 8

Picture Perfect An adolescent teen looks in the mirror and analyzes her body. Although other people see her as a beautiful young woman, she sees a completely different picture. She thinks she is too fat, too short, that she has a weird chin, and her cheeks are not high enough. Is it normal for a pre-teen to think these things? She wants to alter her appearance to look more like the super models she sees in magazines; however, she will never look like those women on her own. She considers plastic surgery, but is this morally correct? Plastic surgery – more specifically cosmetic surgery – is the act of cutting, snipping, and tucking parts of a person’s body to improve their appearance. The most common surgeries are nose jobs, face lifts, botulinum toxin (Botox) injections, and buttocks/breast implants. Socialites and pop icons display these surgeries as normal, everyday procedures; however, receiving a lunchtime Botox injection is far from normal. Although society views these procedures as common and popular, cosmetic surgery has many negative effects that people ignore. The misuse of cosmetic surgery should be stopped because it violates the medical code of ethics, it takes away individuality, and it may lead to psychological issues. Before a doctor can become a doctor he/she has to take an oath following the medical code of ethics – also known as the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic Oath is named after Hippocrates (the father of medicine) who is believed to be the one who wrote it. Upon taking the oath, the doctor agrees to follow medicine honestly – which prohibits the act of undertaking procedures if there is no medical reason (Stearman 12). Many people assume that cosmetic surgery violates the Hippocratic Oath because of all the potential dangers and risk (Edmonds). However, journalist Kate Stearman argues “all medical procedures involve risk” (12). This may be so, but cosmetic surgery also violates the oath because it is not about medical or health needs, it is about altering the appearance of a “normal” person (Stearman 7). People today tend to overlook the risk of aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery due to the fact that it is performed by certified doctors (Edmonds). Coincidentally, recent studies have shown that more people – especially women – are receiving some of the more simple procedures by people without medical training (Stearman 16). The most common of these more simple procedures includes Botox injections. Botulinum toxin (Botox) is one of the world’s most deadly toxins; it is linked to sixteen deaths in 2008 alone. It is medically used to treat damaged vocal chords and limb spasm, but is now socially used to smooth out wrinkles and prevent them from coming back by temporarily paralyzing the face (Stearman 16). Since Botox is non-surgical, many women inject themselves at social parties, or go to doctors who are not qualified or trained in that area (17). As a result of the lack of interest in qualification, “in some countries there are few or no regulations regarding the qualifications of people who perform cosmetic surgery” (16). This means that nearly anyone can perform or undergo surgery with the right amount of money. Many of these people who undergo these procedures do not understand why researchers believe cosmetic surgery is against the Hippocratic Oath due to the many risk. Some of these risk include blood clots, infection, scarring, nerve damage, and death (Libal 108). One recent event that supports this belief is the incident with Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) – a French company that made faulty breast implants (Edmonds). People knew something was wrong when reports rose of women dying after receiving breast implants from this company. Alexander Edmonds, a professor of anthropology, explains that “the prostheses are more prone to rupture than other models, and they contain an industrial grade of silicone never intended for use in a medical device.” This event completely violates the Hippocratic