Plastic Surgery began around 4,000 years ago. In the late 19th century, the American medical community grasped reconstruction surgery and the history began. The first major plastic surgeon was Dr. John Peter Mettauer, who performed the first cleft palate operation in the North American history of plastic surgery in 1827 with instruments that he used himself. Now in 2010, 219,000 cosmetic plastic surgeries were performed on teens ranged from 13-19. The top five plastic surgeries done were the chemical peel, microderm-abrasion, nose-reshaping, ear surgery, and Botox injections.
Teen plastic surgeries are mostly done because of Self-Esteem, gifts, sports, and the enforcement of their parents. Teens shouldn’t always have the right to decide whether they should have a cosmetic procedure done because the patient is under 18 years of age, the patient is making an immature decision, and the parent/guardian should be in complete control of all children’s medical decisions. Some reasons why teens are getting plastic surgery are because of the child’s self-esteem and self – loathing, sports, and their parents are forcing them.
Self-esteem and bullying has a big effect on kids during their educational years. They have to deal with the constant lies, taunting and hurting judgments. For example, a child was excluded from her school group because of an overly large nose. She didn’t want to go to school, and her parents didn’t think that she should suffer from having to wait until sixteen years of age to get the surgery. She understood that the fix could only be temporary since she hadn’t finished growing yet, but she got the surgery anyways.
It boosted her confidence and she was back in the group again. In certain sports, such as cheer, dancing, and gymnastics, parents think that they’re child’s bottoms aren’t big enough to get a spot on the specific team or just to gain more attention. They getaugmentations or liposuctions to shape their body into a “natural” form, before they even realize that they were beautiful the whole time before they were mature enough to make the change on their own.
Parents also force their kids to get plastic surgery because they want it for their child more than the child wants it for them. The child has the right to say no, but they don’t know that they have the legal rights to. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (1989) the best interests of the child should be the primary consideration. If a person under the age of eighteen has the competency and stableness, they can make their own medical decisions.
Requirements for competency is to receive, understand, retain, and recall relevant information; integrate the information received and relate it to one’s situation; evaluate the benefits and risks in terms of personal values; rationally manipulate the information in order to select an option, and give convincing reasons for the choice; communicate with one’s choice to others; and carry on with the choice until the decision is acted upon.
With incompetent children, parents can consent with providing the best acts of the child (K v.Minister for Youth and Community services . 1982. ), except for sterilization cases. Sterilization is an incidental byproduct of surgery that was intended to cure a malfunction or disease. The best interests of a child should be put into perspective because they’re getting the procedure done on them, and it should be done for the benefit of him/her and not because they’re parents force them to. For children under the age of twelve, consent is in the sole responsibility of the parents, but they have to take the best interests of the child.
Children from ages twelve to fifteen, competent children can consent, parents can also consent provided in best interests of the child. Parents cannot override consent of competent child in the child’s best interests. For incompetent children, parents can consent provided in child’s best interests. For children who are sixteen and seventeen years of age, if the child is competent, they can consent to the exclusion of others. If incompetent, the parents can consent in the child’s best interests.
A child can consent to plastic surgery if they are competent according to Gillick’s guidelines (capable of understanding the nature, consequences and risks of the proposed treatment, and consequences of non-treatment), but when a child is incompetent, the parents can consent or the court can approve the procedure. According to Dr. Rizk’s interview, hevoiced his opinion saying that some procedures are inappropriate for a teenager, regardless of the child’s competency or the best interest of a child, and I agree with Dr.
Rizk because a child is immature and their decisions are immature until they are an adult and learn how to act and do as an adult. Thomas Szasa says, “A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right, but also to be wrong,” and he’s thoroughly correct. A child has a little too big of a margin on their decisions on consent, especially when it comes to a scenario where the child wants it as gifts, or just for the benefit of others instead of themselves.
A person eighteen and over has a right to determine what’s done with their body (Schloendorff v Society of NY Hospital (1914)) Now with that stated, does that mean that a child under eighteen years of age shouldn’t have full rights? A parent has the responsibilities of allowing their child (if Competent and over 12 years of age) to consent to their own decisions and not force their child to make decisions that they don’t want to make. It’s also imperative for them to notify their child about the precautions and the outcomes because this procedure doesn’t always turn out how they want them to.
Even though this isn’t much of a responsibility, Psychiatrist, Janet Taylor voiced her opinion stating that a parent should love their child’s imperfection and that a child learning to accept themselves starts with the parent. A parent has to learn to teach their child to love themselves, and it starts with the parent loving their child first. A person’s imperfection makes it their own uniqueness, so why not praise your child for being one in a million?
Some solutions to get children to refrain from wanting plastic surgery is for plastic surgeons only to do procedures on people eighteen and under if there is a medical emergency (i. e. car accident, impalement of certain object, sterilization … etc. ). Other solutions would be if plastic surgeons make sure the child is doing it for the benefit of themselves and not for others. They should not do it because of the bullying or the constant criticism from their parents, but for them and only them. The rights of a child are that if they are stable enough, they can make the decisions on their own.
Dr. Varkony said in his interview that he makes sure that the patient is doing it for themselves and if they’re not, he doesn’t recommend the surgery and lets the patient wait until they are more certain of their decisions. Teaching more on anti-bullying can help lower the rates parents or because they’re giving into peer pressure. And he also felt that it should only be done if it has a defect towards their human functioning. Varkony gives advice and information on how many kids are actually going into surgery and for what reasons and procedures.
He shared multiple opinions on how parents should react to kids wanting to have surgery. Most Facial plastic surgery for teens isn’t effective because the child is still growing. This source can help because it gives an honest perspective from a plastic surgeon, who gives an honest approach. Rizk, Sam. “Dr. Rizk’s Interview on the Today Show (NBC) With Mat Lauer on Teenage Rhinoplasty/Plastic Surgery” Report: Interview. YouTube. 25 May 2011. Web 19 Dec 2013. This interview featured a Plastic surgeon and a psychiatrist, who voiced their opinions on if teenagers should get plastic surgery in response to bullying.
Dr. Sam Rizk voiced his opinion that certain procedures are appropriate at a certain age (deformities), and that others were inappropriate (Breast reduction/enlargement/liposuction). Janet Taylor (psychiatrist) voiced her opinion saying that parents should love their child’s imperfections and that a child learning to accept themselves starts with the parent. This video will be very helpful in my project because it gives a psychotic opinion, towards the bullying and pressure from parents and peers.
It also gives a voiced opinion from another successful doctor on how he feels about teens getting plastic surgery. Rather than being so informative and having a documentary video on teen plastic surgery, it was an opinion on a teen’s bullying situation. Unknown Author. “More Teens Having Plastic Surgery for ‘Imperfections’”. CBN News. 25 Feb 2012. A1. Print. The article was more informative on how many kids received plastic surgery over minor imperfections that could be resolved over maturation. It showed how much parents are willing to go through to get their kids to look ‘perfect’.
Teens were getting breast implants at 18 years old and botox surgery at 15 years old. This article was more so full of factual information, rather than a voiced opinion. It showed that $10. 5 billion was spent on plastic surgery in the year of 2011, reflecting on how people thought of their bodies. This article will be useful because it’s more factual, and I can represent important facts into my documentary. It gave a reality check to how many people struggle with self esteem, because they want to look better for other people, and not themselves.
Gordon, Tina. Children, Competency, and consent to cosmetic surgery. 2006. 11 Feb 2014 Tina’s PDF points out the general rights and responsibilities patient and parent. It also gives the information about a child’s consent and the certain ages where a child has full consent to decide if they want to have a specific surgery. It also has some cases on the decisions of consent. Lukash, Frederick. Teenage Plastic Surgery. U. d. 11 Feb 2014 This article gave me the real-world situation in paragraph 2.