Different parts of the body

Update newsletter - cosmetic proceduresThe latest statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) highlight how fashions in cosmetic procedures may change, with people choosing treatment in 2014 showing more interest in “subtle understated” procedures such as eyelid surgery, facelifts and fat transfers, accompanied by a significant drop in the number of breast augmentations.(20)

A further area of change relates to the extension of cosmetic procedures to more body parts, such as the growing interest in female genital cosmetic surgery,(21)  buttock augmentation,(22)  and penis enlargements.(23)  While such procedures are becoming increasingly popular, they sometimes elicit different responses from those generated by longer-established procedures, such as those undertaken on the face, abdomen or breasts.(24)


16.    Thinking of cosmetic procedures, are there some parts of the body that are more problematic than others? If so, can you explain why?

17.    The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 prohibits the excision or mutilation of “any part of a girl’s [or woman’s] labia majora, labia minora or clitoris”, unless this is held to be necessary for her physical or mental health. What are the implications of the Act for female genital cosmetic surgery?

18.    Thinking of genital procedures more broadly, are there any distinctive ethical issues, including gender issues, that do not apply to other parts of the body?

For footnotes 20-24, see the full call for evidence document.

How to submit your response

Please email your response to Kate Harvey at kharvey@nuffieldbioethics.org, with ‘Cosmetic procedures’ in the subject line. If possible, responses should be in the form of a single Word document, with question numbers clearly indicated.

Please ensure that you also include a completed response form with your submission, which can be found on page 11 in the call for evidence document or downloaded here.

If you would prefer to respond by post, please send your submission to:

Kate Harvey
Nuffield Council on Bioethics
28 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3JS

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