"Do you have a healthy smile?".

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines whether cosmetic interventions by dentists and plastic surgeons are medically indicated and, hence, qualify as medical interventions proper. Cosmetic interventions (and the business strategies used to market them) are often frowned upon by dentists and physicians. However, if those interventions do not qualify as medical interventions proper, they should not be evaluated using medical-ethical norms. On the other hand, if they are to be considered medical practice proper, the medical-ethical principles of nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice and others hold true for cosmetic interventions as much as they do for other medical and dental interventions. It is concluded that most cosmetic interventions do not qualify as medical interventions proper because they do not restore or maintain the patient's health (defined as the patient's integrity) by any objective standards. Rather, cosmetic interventions are intended to enhance a person's physical appearance; more specifically, they intend to fulfill the client's subjective perception of an enhanced appearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalMedicine, Healthcare and Philosophy
Volume2
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

Fingerprint

Cosmetics
cosmetics
Beneficence
Dentists
dentist
Social Justice
Tooth
Physicians
Health
medical practice
integrity
justice
physician
human being
market
health

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

"Do you have a healthy smile?". / Welie, Jos V. M.

In: Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1999, p. 169-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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