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No contest: plastic surgery is not a prize

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (, the not-for-profit organisation established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit, today warned that companies offering plastic surgery as a prize are violating a well-recognised code of ethics of good medical practice.

Increasingly, the Association is notified of breast augmentations or other cosmetic treatments being offered as competition prizes ? usually by a magazine, radio station or even a nightclub.

According to Adam Searle, President of the BAAPS;

"The giving of a surgical procedure as a prize is an unbelievable, dangerous and highly unethical practice. The decision to perform any surgical procedure must be based on common sense, case selection, good surgical decision making and patient safety. The offer of a cosmetic surgery procedure as a prize is an awful manifestation of the trivialisation of medical care in general, and aesthetic surgery in particular. Any patient making irreversible decisions in circumstances of hype, excitement and emotion, are putting themselves at very great risk. Any normal patient ? doctor relationship is completely abandoned in any such framework of medical care. This is a practice I unreservedly and utterly condemn."

The BAAPS have grappled with similar issues in the past when warning the public about makeover contests on reality television shows, plastic surgery loyalty card schemes and gift vouchers. According to the Association, patients need to be objectively considered for a cosmetic procedure, rather than being coerced or incentivised into having a treatment they happened to `win`.

Warns Adam Searle;

"To embark on surgical procedures as `prizes` in trivial competitions is a practice bound for tears and catastrophe."

According to the BAAPS, in these situations the potential risks of surgery are downplayed, and commercialism reigns. Of even greater concern is the message it sends to people ? that plastic surgery is a commodity, and can be purchased mindlessly.


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