Cosmetic Surgery for Minors

There are people who get cosmetic surgery because they want it, and there are those who get it out of need. Although teenagers should not be able to alter their physical appearance because of social standards, cosmetic surgery is still a right to those who need it.

For our final exam grade, we are debating a German law that prevents minors from being able to have cosmetic surgery. We are in opposition to this law, defending a minor’s right to have get this surgery. In order to attack this law, it is important to understand what “cosmetic surgery” actually is, and what the law is actually preventing.

Cosmetic surgery is anything ranging from rhinoplasty (nose jobs) to skin grafting for accident victims. Some necessary cosmetic surgeries for minors include breast reduction surgery to prevent back and neck pain and facial reconstruction for minors who are deformed due to genetics (i.e. a cleft lip) or an accidents (i.e. car accident).

This law is being developed to ban cosmetic surgery for minors. The only exception is for procedures that are “medically necessary.” However, it does not address those who suffer from accidents. A purpose of this law is to protect minors from making choices that could have consequences later on. Another point to consider is that this affects the minor’s perception of beauty.

Other countries besides Germany have also considered these restrictions. For example, the state of Queensland in Australia has put a ban on breast enhancements for patients under the age of eighteen. The U.S. FDA has recently lifted a ban on silicone gel breast enhancements. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons doesn’t oppose this, but requests that parents have their children evaluated on their level of physical and emotional maturity to undergo cosmetic procedures.

Everyone has the right to undergo cosmetic surgery procedures. As a minor you should have parental consent and a proper evaluation of your mental and physical maturity.  

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