Medical self-enhancement – surgeons thoughts on silicon implants and ethics

The following three quotes all taken from Allure (magazine) November 2006 article “Dangerous Curves” (p.129-32) – on doctors’ illegal use of FDA-banned silicone breast implants for women instead of saline [because they are more in demand and ‘look better’]:

-“Blatant lawbreaking is rare, experts believe. But many plastic surgeons admitted that a number of doctors bend the rules… ‘There is some wiggle room, and some doctors are willing to wiggle more than other,’ McGuire [Michael McGuire, associate clinical professor of plastic surgery at UCLA] says.”

-Laurie Casas, associate professor of plastic surgery at Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago: “We’ve all been frustrated by the ban on silicone. Having only one type of implact limits our ability to give each patient the best possible results–its like living in a country with only one type of car.”

-Steven Teitelbaum, Santa Monica-based plastic surgeon: “The ban put doctors in a compromised position. We’re obligated to abide by the law, but ethically, we should follow the science, and the science on silicone shows not only that it’s safe, but also that it’s a better implant. If the Hippocratic oath is about doing what’s right for the patient, in one sense, Corbin did the right thing.” [Corbin is a surgeon on trial for smuggling silicone implants into the US from Mexico and for falsifying medical records to enable non-eligible patients to receive domestically-made silicone implants].

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