Poll reveals opposition to plastic surgery ads
22 January 2013
A BMA survey has revealed opposition to the advertising of cosmetic surgery to the public.
In response to the BMA website poll question ‘should advertising cosmetic surgery directly to the public be banned?’, 225 people said yes and 101 said no. Another 22 people said they did not know.
The survey results mirror the findings of the Department of Health Review of the Regulations of Cosmetic Interventions: Call for Evidence, to which the BMA responded.
NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh began the review last August following the PIP breast implant scandal.
The majority of respondents to Sir Bruce called for tighter restrictions on advertising and a ban on two-for-one offers, time-limited deals, and cosmetic surgery being offered as competition prizes.
The BMA response states: ‘Salesmen should have no part to play in the decision a patient has with regard to whether they have a cosmetic intervention.’
Cooling off period
It says it is essential that ‘patients should be properly assessed and counselled by an experienced doctor as part of the consent process’.
The BMA supports GMC guidelines stating that published information should be ‘factual and verifiable’.
It adds: ‘Advertising should merely be restricted to what services are available without having any inducements or without trivialising the procedures on offer.’
The BMA calls for the banning of incentives to promote cosmetic interventions. It also expresses concern about the body-art sector, and calls for greater regulation in this area, which involves ‘invasive and surgical procedures’.
It says: ‘The “cooling off” period should be greater if the procedure is more risky or visible [as is the case with] tattoos of the [face and] cornea or the implantation of jewels in to the eye, and body-enhancement implants in places that are hazardous such as the tongue or the lips.’
The recommendations from the DH review are due to be published in March.
Vote in the poll on a paperless NHS.