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NO CONTEST: COSMETIC SURGERY IS NOT A PRIZE

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons condemns auction

London – 24 January 2018 - Plastic surgeons are hugely disappointed that, during an annual dinner at a plush London hotel, a private clinic has blatantly disregarded General Medical Council guidelines in order to offer cosmetic surgery as an auction prize.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk), the only Association solely dedicated to the advancement and education of cosmetic surgery, are appalled that, despite reviews into the aesthetic sector, clinics with expert knowledge of what constitutes or breaches ethical marketing continue to employ such unethical practices.

GMC guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic interventions clearly states that services must not be offered as a prize[1], and that when communicating information about cosmetic procedures, promotional tactics must not encourage ill-considered decisions, or knowingly allow others to misrepresent or offer treatment in ways that would conflict with this guidance.

Additionally, the findings of 2014’s Keogh Review into cosmetic interventions, along with guidelines issued by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2016 both condemn the practice of using cosmetic surgery as a competition prize.

The BAAPS Council has issued the following statement: 

Offering plastic surgery as a prize is clearly against GMC guidance and, in this case, is both transgressing the guidance for good patient care and bringing the speciality into disrepute in a very public manner. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has a responsibility for standards of all within the speciality and we certainly stand up for patient welfare.

“Neither surgical or non-surgical treatments are without risk or 100% guaranteed, and so any decision to undergo treatment should be fully considered - a process which is disrupted by offering surgery as a competition prize. Any patient making irreversible decisions in circumstances of hype, excitement and emotion, are putting themselves at very great risk.

“By commodifying cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatment, clinics continue to trivialise the risks and glorify the benefits of procedures. The lack of respect for well-known guidelines demonstrate an unconscionable willingness to pressure potentially vulnerable people into risky, irreversible treatments, and the Association would urge patients to remain vigilant against individuals using those kinds of tactics.

“This is unethical and irresponsible advertising practice which therefore contravenes the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) guidelines too. BAAPS has always been a professional body to uphold standards in all aspects of surgery. The Nuffield Bioethics report on cosmetic procedures specifically highlighted how the ASA and CAP should be more proactive.”

In keeping with the GMC guidelines and BAAPS code of conduct, BAAPS is in complete opposition to unethical marketing practices.

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About the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons

The BAAPS (www.baaps.org.uk), based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BAAPSMedia and Facebook: www.facebook.com/BritishAssociationofAestheticPlasticSurgeons

For all media enquiries, please contact pr@baaps.org.uk

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