PLASTIC SURGERY ETHICS

COSMETIC SURGERY

UNIQUENESS IN THE DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

Cosmetic surgery is the only form of medicine whereby the patient takes the decision for surgery. In other disciplines there is the firm advice of the doctor to justify treatment on the basis of the necessity for it in order to influence the cause of disease for the better.

This puts the patient at a special predicament: she carries ultimately the responsibility for the surgery, and the small chance of complications that invariably acompagny it. This is also why it is of the utmost importance for the patient to understand the pro's and cons of any procedure considered.

A responsable surgeon will not enter in a surgical adventure unless also he is convinced that the result will alter the life of the patient for the better. Hereby he will weigh the following questions for the affirmative:

1. Will the surgery live up to the expectations of the patient?

2. Are the risks in proportion to the gain in quality of life? 

3. Does the patient understand the full implications of the procedure, recovery, aftercare and risks?

If the answer on any of the above is negative, there is no scope for a responsible surgical intervention.

Doctor patient relationship

THE ULTIMATE KEY TO PATIENT SELECTION

WILL SHE BE HAPPY?

With this single question the entire process of patient selection can be summarized. Although it sounds a simple enough logic, even the best surgeons will now and again have to admit that, with hindsight, they would not have operated on a particular patient. No matter how clever and experienced one may be, the dynamic of surgery and patient selection is inevitably laden with a perpetual uncertainty and unpredictability. Medicine is not a form of engeneering, and patients, doctors and staff are not infallable machines. This is why good cosmetic surgery will never be as inexpensive as most other activities that last only a few hours, but change entire lives.

 

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