CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Plast Surg 2012; 45(03): 547-549
DOI: 10.4103/0970-0358.105973
Association of Plastic Surgeons of India

Ethical and legal issues in aesthetic surgery

Suresh Gupta
Emeritus Consultant in Plastic Surgery and Head of Aesthetic Surgery Unit, Department of Plastic Surgery Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi, India
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21. November 2019 (online)


Rapid growth and expansion of plastic surgery in general and aesthetic surgery in particular in the past decade has brought in its wake some confusions particularly raising questions for the surgeons conduct towards his colleagues and the patients in the light of ethical requirements. Some thoughts from eminent thinkers form a backdrop to consideration of theories of medical ethics. In this article raging and continuous debates on these subjects have been avoided to maintain the momentum. Apart from the western thoughts, directions from our old scriptures on ethical conduct have been included to accommodate prevelant Indian practices. The confusion created by specialists advertising their abilities directly to the lay public following removal of ethical bars by the American Courts as also latitudes allowed by the General Medical Council of Great Britain have been discussed. The medical fraternity however has its reservations. Unnecessary skirmishes with the law arose in cosmetic surgery from the freedom exercised by the police to file criminal proceedings against attending doctors in the event of a patient′s death with or without any evidence of wrong doing. This has now been curtailed in the judgement of the Supreme Court of India[1] where norms have been laid down for such prosecution. This has helped doctors to function without fear of harassment. An effort has been made to state a simple day-to-day routine for an ethical doctor-patient relationship.

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