The Regulation of Cosmetic Procedures : Legal, Ethical and Practical Challenges book cover
1st Edition

The Regulation of Cosmetic Procedures
Legal, Ethical and Practical Challenges

ISBN 9781138593046
Published May 20, 2020 by Routledge
258 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the legal, ethical and regulatory debates surrounding the rise of the cosmetic procedures industry.

In the past, cosmetic procedures were often seen as limited to a small number of wealthy older women. Today, such procedures have gone mainstream, partly facilitated by the rise of ‘non-invasive’ techniques, such as the use of Botox and Dermal Fillers. While still a business dominated by the female consumer, there is also an increasing number of males undertaking cosmetic procedures as social expectations around appearance and ageing are challenged. At the same time, the rapid expansion of this business and the incoherent, diverse approach to its regulation have given rise to concern. It has been seen as a ‘Wild West’. If cosmetic procedures go wrong, such procedures give rise to real risks of harm.

This book examines the historical backdrop, current practice and risks associated with cosmetic procedures. It discusses the ethical and regulatory challenges for this area. It also examines the current legal frameworks concerning people, practitioners and products in the UK. The book also draws lessons from regulatory approaches in other jurisdictions with particular reference to the United States, Brazil and France. It then sets out a legal and regulatory framework that might better protect and empower the cosmetic consumer, now and in the future. The book is likely to be of particular interest to those working in the areas of health and medical law, socio-legal studies and political science.

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 Cosmetic Procedures: Histories, Risks and Responses

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Background to Cosmetic Procedures and their Regulation

  1. Cosmetic Procedures: Scandals, Risks and Responses.

  1. Conclusions and Framework of the book

Chapter 2: Cosmetic Procedures: Ethical Principles and Dilemmas

  1. Introduction
  2. Personal choice, autonomy and feminist ethics
  3. The culture of cosmetic procedures

    A matter of agency

  4. Cosmetic Procedures and a matter of Beneficence
  5. Cosmetic Procedures- a question of "do no harm"

    Harms and discrimination

    Harms: children and adults lacking mental capacity

  6. Cosmetic Procedures: a question of Justice?
  7. Conclusions

Chapter 3: Theories and Models for Future Regulation

  1. Introduction

  1. Self-Regulation and Compliance mechanisms

  1. The rise of agencies

  1. Regulation responsive to risk

  1. Lessons from Current Regulatory Models from the UK Health sector.

Regulatory oversight of healthcare providers: The Care Quality Commission

Regulatory oversight of health professional bodies: The Professional Standards Authority.

Regulatory bodies for a specific area of healthcare activity: Case study of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority


Chapter 4: Cosmetic Procedures and the Law: Autonomy and Legality

  1. Introduction
  2. Consent to Involvement in Cosmetic Procedures and the Criminal Law
  3. Consent and the medical exception

    Prosecuting "Cosmetic" procedures outside "the medical exception"- the case of R v BM

    The Criminal Law and Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery

    The reality of consent to surgery and the criminal law: the case of Ian Paterson

  4. Informed Consent: Cosmetic Procedures and the Law of Tort
  5. Capacity, Adults and children and consent to cosmetic procedures
  6. Conclusions

Chapter 5: Cosmetic Procedures, Law Safety, Products and People

  1. Introduction
  2. Liability of Practitioners for Harm caused to the Consumer

Liability in Contract

Liability in Negligence

Accountability and the "fly in- fly out" practitioner

The effectiveness of litigation as a remedy and the use of arbitration

Liability in Criminal Law for gross negligence manslaughter

  1. Safety of products used in cosmetic procedures

Regulating Product Safety

Liability for Defective Products

  1. Safety of premises

  1. Professional Regulation of Providers of Cosmetic Procedures

Role of the General Medical Council in providing guidance on Cosmetic Procedures.

Role of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

Movement to more comprehensive oversight and regulation

European Standards for Aesthetic Surgery Services

The Joint Council for Regulation of Cosmetic Procedures Establishment and Scope

Scotland and the Regulation of Cosmetic Procedures and Practitioners.

Advertising, Marketing and Social Media

  1. Conclusions

Chapter 6: Comparative Dilemmas from the Global Cosmetic Procedure Market

I. Introduction

II. Cosmetic Procedures, Regulation and Safety in the US

Training of Cosmetic Practitioners in the US

US regulation of cosmetic surgery: the example of California

US regulation of non-invasive cosmetic procedures: the example of Florida

  1. Cosmetic Procedures and Regulation in Brazil
  2. The influence of culture on cosmetic treatments in Brazil

    Regulation of cosmetic procedures in Brazil

    Cosmetic surgeons and training in Brazil

    IV. Cosmetic Procedures and Regulation in France

    Cosmetic surgery regulation in France – the Kouchner law of 2002

    The "devis" and informed consent

    Minors and cosmetic procedures

    Advertising and publicity for cosmetic surgery

    Licences for cosmetic surgery

    Qualifications and training

    Bringing proceedings against practitioners

    Regulation of non-invasive cosmetic procedures

    Regulatory bodies and cosmetic procedures

  3. Conclusions

Chapter 7: Conclusions: Regulating the Cosmetic Procedure Industry, a Question of Law, Ethics and Safety.

I. Introduction

II. Regulating Cosmetic Procedures a New Legal Framework

Future Regulatory options

Regulation of practitioners undertaking cosmetic procedures by a new regulatory body


Regulation of procedures undertaken on minors and adults lacking mental capacity.

Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery

Advertising, Print, Broadcast and Social Media

  1. Conclusions, Cosmetic Procedures Regulation and the Global Market


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Melanie Latham, Reader in Law, Manchester Metropolitan University. Jean V. McHale, Professor of Health Care Law, University of Birmingham.