Is plastic surgery ethical?


Fact Box

Some of the oldest forms of plastic surgery date back to ancient India around 800 BC where skin grafts were performed for reconstructive purposes.

While the reasoning behind some plastic surgeries might be connected to more systemic problems related to body image, a person’s choice to follow through with those procedures is an exercise in bodily autonomy. People go on diets, get tattoos and dye their hair to change something about themselves all the time; plastic surgery is just another example of body modification. And, in many situations, plastic surgery is necessary for quality of life.

For some transgender individuals, gender affirmation surgery helps with gender dysmorphia--a constant and sometimes debilitating desire to present as a different gender. While there’s lots of anecdotal evidence of trans people expressing their happiness after surgery, a German study following trans women for years post-operation found that 75% of their subjects displayed an increased quality of life.

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