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Should There Be a Minimum Age to Undergo Plastic Surgery?

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With more people opting to undergo plastic surgery, many ethical questions arise. Plastic surgery is typically a permanent decision with life-altering consequences, whether considered good or bad, and with the number of young people shown on TV undergoing breast enhancement surgeries, tummy tucks or liposuction, the younger crowd may think that plastic surgery is a great idea to achieve the bodily results they desire. But what age is too young for plastic surgery and should there be a minimum age for procedures? These are questions that authorities in Germany are pondering.

Conservative German officials are considering putting a ban on cosmetic surgeries for anyone under the age of 18 in consideration of the fact that many of Germany's procedures–including nose jobs, breast enlargement or liposuction–are performed on minors. There is presently no minimum age for procedures and people under the age of 20 account for 10% of all plastic surgeries in Germany.

Germany's conservative Union parties, the CDU and CSU, are currently drafting legislation to prevent anyone under the age of 18 to undergo plastic surgery. Germany's Free Democratic Party is against the legislation, arguing that the line between medically necessary procedures and purely cosmetic procedures is not always clear. In comparison to Germany, plastic surgeries on minors age 13-19 in the U.S. accounted for 219,000 of all plastic surgeries in 2010.