Sunday, February 8, 2015

Is it our responsibility to help?

Is it our responsibility to help?

One aspect of body art and body modification I struggle with is the idea of mental illness and depression. I believe there are many cases in which body modification and extreme body art is a manifestation of OCD, depression or other mental sicknesses. I think this is most relevant in regards to elective plastic surgery.

I do believe that if minor plastic surgery makes a person feel better about themselves and make them happier, it is justified. But as discussed in class, I think it is a comment on our society that elective plastic surgery is extremely more popular among women than men. But a question I do struggle with, is the morality of performing plastic surgery to such an extreme that it is enabling mental illness. Should society say that anyone should be able to get any plastic surgery on his or her body, just as anyone can get as many tattoos or piercing as they wish? Or is it the responsibility of the doctor to stop a patient?

One disturbing niche of plastic surgery patients is people who get surgery to look like particular celebrities. To me, this is an example of mental illness manifested in plastic surgery. And if a person is to that far of a point, do we blame the doctor who chose to perform it? Or is it the right of a person to do what they want to their own body, as long as they aren’t harming others?

In class, we discussed that a psychiatrist has to be on call and available for plastic surgeries. However, they are rarely called nor come in. So how do we as society monitor or regulate plastic surgery, while allowing freedom of choice? In regards to BIID, it is controversial whether surgeons should amputate a limb if it truly makes the person happy. But I think the more beneficial solution is therapy, in order to fix the root of the problem, rather than the “symptom” (limb).

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