Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery

Alex Clarke

in Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580521
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:
Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery

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This article reviews the general principles of cosmetic surgery regulation and considers in detail the regulatory framework in the UK. It highlights problems inherent in the current arrangements and makes comparisons with the situation in France. The current framework of self-regulation by the profession offers little protection to patients in the UK and no protection from cosmetic tourism either to patients travelling abroad for procedures or by incompetent providers travelling briefly to the UK. The cost to the NHS, where patients experience painful or life-threatening complications is a further driver for change. As yet, governments have proved reluctant to legislate for robust regulation of cosmetic procedures, presenting this as the responsibility of the various professional groups. The result is a stand-off in which patients remain vulnerable and the reputation of the profession is damaged.

Keywords: cosmetic surgery regulation; United Kingdom; France; self-regulation; osmetic tourism

Article.  4368 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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