German teenagers wanting a boob job, a nose job or liposuction will have to wait until they turn 18, even if their parents will sign off on the surgery, under new government plans.
Piercings and tattoos would still be allowed for minors though, according to a Health Ministry statement quoted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Thursday.
Terms describing cosmetic – or plastic – surgery should also be legally defined to prevent confusion and protect patients from unqualified surgeons.
Health Minister Daniel Bahr hopes to include the ban in a revision of patent protection laws – and set up a million-euro fund to compensate patients whose cosmetic surgery has gone wrong.
“Even with a thorough explanation, there is no guarantee that a young person will be able to understand the reach of his or her decision,” the statement said.
Around 10 percent of people who went under the knife in 2004 were under the age of 20, according to the Association of German Plastic Surgeons (VDÄPC).
It remains unclear how many people are dissatisfied with their procedure once they get home and look in the mirror, but more than 14,000 complaints against plastic surgeons were filed in 2010. Of the 7,355 complainants who went to court, 2,157 were awarded compensation.
The compensation fund that the Health Ministry hopes to set up could, according to the FAZ, start off with €2 million, which would come both from private donations from doctors and from public health insurers.
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