Instigator / Pro

Cosmetic Surgeries for enhancing body parts should be banned across the globe.


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 2 votes and with 8 points ahead, the winner is...

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Round 1
Modern cosmetic surgeries were all for a noble cause, soldiers after the first world war whose faces were badly damaged were given a new chance at life by the developing science discipline[1]. As the times have changed cosmetic surgery has been opted again and again for non- necessary and sometimes life threatening practises such as :
Breast augmentation
Phaloplasty( penis enlargement)
Buttock augmentation

These practises have increased to the point where even when the physician refuses to perform the surgery, the aspirants have started to resort to do-it-yourself type of surgeries causing life threatening complications.[2][3]
Sometimes the reason to adopt such do-it-yourself surgeries or even approaching unregistered medical practitioner for lack of money to opt for a legimate procedure has also become common. The need for such surgeries have driven people to such lengths that even though reported deaths from failed operations have become common, people have not been deterred by the fact that they might not wake up from the surgery they are undergoing. It can be safely assumed that such procedures have been detrimental to a good number of people,even fatal[4][5][6] in some cases,thus they should be dealt with.A report from Miami,USA states how a single clinic was responsible for 8 women dying.[7] The shame is this type of reports are not solitary but growing day by day.[8][9]. I have further attached detailed report by a licensed medical practitioner about the related harms of one of such procedures.[10]A further argument can me made against any such elective procedures that even if the procedure is done successfully , a lot of patients get life-threatening complications later on in their life after a period of decades. 
With no added benifit to the health of an individual and only harming the indicidual in the long run, these elective banned procedures should be banned and cosmetic surgeries should be reserved to the people who actually need it
(Eg:- acid attack survivors, war veterans injured in battle , treatment of burns and dog mauling).

A further case can be made against the allowed practise as a noticeable percentage of the people opting for such surgeries suffer from psychological disorders relating to their looks and are thus not in a position to think clearly and should not be allowed to opt such cases untill a licensed medical practitioner evaluates their pyschological health. Furthermore the use of such surgeries in the West, specially by celebrities, have only aggrevated conditions such as teen feeling insecure about their bodies are wanting to opt for such surgeries, only banning of such practises can help ameliorate the condition. 

"BDD is a disorder resulting in the sufferer becoming "preoccupied with what they regard as defects in their bodies or faces." Alternatively, where there is a slight physical anomaly, then the person's concern is markedly excessive.[36] While 2% of people suffer from body dysmorphic disorder in the United States, 15% of patients seeing a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeons have the disorder. Half of the patients with the disorder who have cosmetic surgery performed are not pleased with the aesthetic outcome. BDD can lead to suicide in some of its sufferers. While many with BDD seek cosmetic surgery, the procedures do not treat BDD, and can ultimately worsen the problem. The psychological root of the problem is usually unidentified; therefore causing the treatment to be even more difficult. Some say that the fixation or obsession with correction of the area could be a sub-disorder such as anorexia or muscle dysmorphia.[37] The increased use of body and facial reshaping applications such as Snapchat and Facetune have been identified as a potential triggers of BDD. Recently, a phenomenon referred to as 'Snapchat dysmorphia' has appeared to describe people who request surgery to resemble the edited version of themselves as they appear through Snapchat Filters.[38] As a protest to the detrimental trend, Instagram banned all augmented reality (AR) filters that depict or promote cosmetic surgery.[39]
In some cases, people whose physicians refuse to perform any further surgeries, have turned to "do it yourself" plastic surgery, injecting themselves and running extreme safety risks.[40]" **[11]

Yes, an argument can be made that it barges on the  freedom of an individual guaranteed by their respective governments, but every government does draws the line between what can be allowed under individual freedom and what can be pertained as a risk to the general public.For example:- alcohol consumption is allowed in most countries given that the individual is above a certain age on the other hand use or consumption of narcotics such as herion and crystal-meth is banned in almost all of the countries. Open endorsement and flaunting of such surgeries have too made it a risk to general public, easily understood by growing number of fatalities from failed surgeries.

If all these rational and scientific arguments are not enough a moral argument can also be made that presence of such individual who have willing deformed their bodies causes a bad influence on the younger generation and any form of acceptance given to them by the society would only send a wrong message to the children that it is okay to undergo various cosmetic surgeries to allegedly look better.The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) estimates that more than 333,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on patients 18 years of age or younger in the US in 2005 compared to approx. 14,000 in 1996. This is significant because it encourages younger people to continue these procedures later in life[12]

With such hard facts against cosmetic surgeries it is time the world should ban such procedures,reserving a few for the needy as mentioned above, for the good of societies, health and welfare of countries around the globe.

I thank my opponent for their impassioned opening.  With no intention of disrespect, please spell check.  There are a number of words that threw me off and that undermines the valiant efforts you have taken.  I will go so far as to accept that the intention of the very poorly drafted topic is to deal with augmentation for the purposes of vanity and not a medical necessity.    Whilst that was not part of the original definition, and it was not articulated directly by my opponent I will rest my response on that assumptive yet affirmative narrative.    

My argument objecting to this resolution is simple.   Banning cosmetic surgery for elective procedures is equivocal to implementing thought police. that is the state meddling in the basic foundation of what individuals can or cannot do.  Banning does not improve health or social outcomes.  Secondary supporting arguments will present themselves inline.


The following is a list of augmentations that are classified as surgical.   I can source all of them on request in my next round, however, I trust my opponent will agree that they can all be categorized as surgeries, even if mild.  
  • orthodontics
  • tattoos
  • piercings
  • hair implants
  • hair removal
  • skin bleaching
  • tattoo removal

So based on the position I inferred of my opponent, one would need to prove a necessity to obtain the aforementioned.  You would need to go to the government and defend why you want a dolphin tattoo on your ankle. Or explain to the authorities why you want straight teeth, or to remove the unwanted hair, or the nasty birthmark you have on the side of your neck.  And now the government gets to decide if what you think is acceptable to their standards.  Necessary versus necessary. 

An example of what you are dealing with here is the history of tattoos.  Tattoos and body manipulation are a part of history (5000 years ago.  My opponent wants to put global bureaucrats in charge to decide if a balding person gets hair plants is a necessity or not.  Thinking the government is then in your head rent-free might not be fair.   Yet it might.

My opponent and I agree that cosmetic surgery can be necessary.  Injuries, cancers, physiology. Let's assume the above examples do not qualify ( I am not conceding this point, this is for demonstration purposes)  I ask my opponent to reconcile the following fact patterns.

Here is Monica.  She is 45 years old, runs marathons and is fit as a fiddle.  She just got diagnosed with breast cancer.  The treatment is a full breast removal.  If Monica wants an artificial breast implanted after her surgery is repaired?, where does that fit into my opponent's objects.?  And if it is acceptable why her, and not the 21 yo woman who is 5 foot tall and has FF breasts and wants a reduction.  Or Kimberly who wants bigger lips?

Why can they all tattoo themselves, but cant inject themselves?  Where do you draw the line?  What if someone augments their body with weightlifting, or by eating crap, and getting physically fatter?  Is liposuction elective, because eating the foods that got them fat elective?  Or what about an eating disorder like bulimia, or anorexia.   Or more simply a diet and exercise to make yourself look better. Where is the line drawn?  


My opponent also points out that many seek unlicensed/unregulated sources for their desired therapy, resulting in injury and death.  It is tragic.  I have seen the videos and heard the stories.  My opponent, however, has not demonstrated how banning these practices would reduce those incidents, or improve health outcomes.  

 So whilst I am very sympathetic to the cases for which the desire for individual mutilation and modification is so great that they suffer irreparable harm or death, I cannot reconcile how the government can draw a line as to what is acceptable versus what is not, without immense meddling, and individual privacy rights being assaulted beyond recognition.

How does banning help?

Cosmetic surgery is much broader and larger than my opponent is giving credit for.  Having to justify the necessity to the government is akin to the thought police, and banning such procedures have no demonstrable or foreseeable positive effects on negative health outcomes associated with their lawfulness.

The resolution fails.
Round 2
Objections to the CON'S arguments in a chronological order:-

1. First PRO vehemently discards CON's suggestion of any action taken by the state to be equivalent of thought police. Every citizen in a free democratic country has rights, but those rights are always subjected to limitations.
Example:- As a citizen of The Republic of India I have the right to free speech, but with limitation that an individual cannot divulge in use of derogatory/abusive terminology against any organization/person/body. Which is the way it should be,to elucidate:

Kumar has the right to disagree with the economic policy of the government and be vocal about it, but Kumar cannot walk on the street passing lewd comments on any woman that passes by him.

PRO argument is simple every basic right given to an individual by his/her government are not without limitations.

2. Objection to "Banning does not improve health or social outcomes", CON just assumed it without any concrete backing as of such, by doing so CON has indulged in speculation.
PRO produces concrete proof[1], a study ,by researchers showed how in case of India, banning of sex-determination in foetus(PNDT Act) ,by passing an amendment,helped mitigate the problem of selective girl-child abortion. While in China with no such ban the problem has only aggravated causing there to be in some provinces 141 men to every 100 women.
The government got to decide and as a result millions of girl-child abortions were prevented. 

3. The list provided by CON has no backing, in his research PRO found 3 of the listed procedures outside the umbrella of cosmetic surgeries[10][11]. To elucidate, even a person who failed the 7th grade can be a tattoo artist, and do tattoos, piercings, hair removal, rest three are documented as cosmetic surgeries. The list and argument can thus be assumed as faulty.

4. In the example used by CON, concerning a women called Monica, PRO wants to make himself absolutely clear:  
Medical facts and expertise should prevail over self-interest of an individual. Such surgeries should be reserved for the people in need.
Monica has already suffered breast cancer and her body reminds her of it everyday, she should be given a chance to live her life normally, should a medical professional deems her fit for surgery.The reference of the 21 year, will fall under a medically documented disease (Macromastia) and can lead her to develop a deformed spine , thus she too qualifies.
Medical know-how should prevail over individual choices.

PRO has not only demonstrated that people have resorted to unlicensed professionals, but has also included various reports where decision of licensed individuals was clouded by the greed to more money[2][3][4], causing unwanted deaths. In a scenario where decision of licensed individuals becomes clouded by greed, government regulation becomes necessary.
PRO had already attached a report by a medical professional working in the field acknowledging these surgeries are not safe.[5]
When a person suffers from an eating disorder (bulimia, or anorexia as CON mentioned)medical professionals help them revert back to normal lives by means of medication and counselling,this has not been the case in cosmetic medicine supported by 2 facts which PRO would like to reiterate:
1."While 2% of people suffer from body dysmorphic disorder in the United States, 15% of patients seeing a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeons have the disorder. Half of the patients with the disorder who have cosmetic surgery performed are not pleased with the aesthetic outcome. BDD can lead to suicide in some of its sufferers. While many with BDD seek cosmetic surgery, the procedures do not treat BDD, and can ultimately worsen the problem."

2.The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) estimates that more than 333,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on patients 18 years of age or younger in the US in 2005 compared to approx. 14,000 in 1996.[6]

Both PRO and CON would agree that it is only basic biological knowledge that a human body under normal circumstances attains full growth by 18 years of age, thus when surgeries are performed on under-age patients questions should be raised as to how is this practise being allowed.Furthermore when it is a established fact that 15 % of patients are in no condition to decide for themselves whether they need the surgery and not, and the clinic goes ahead with the procedure without a psychologist being involved, serves a simple point that clinics cannot be trusted to uphold medical decorum. Thus preventing harm to underage children and psychologically ill patients should triumph over need to undergo a dangerous elective procedure by an healthy individual , simply because that healthy individual too might not wake up from the stretcher ever again.Banning does not mean absolute abstention from the practise,example:- Abortion in India is banned above 20 weeks of pregnancy but if pregnancy have been caused by rape, courts have ruled in favour of termination.[7][8][9]


Banning would help control the social dilemma of teenagers resorting to cosmetic surgeries, further help in prevention of exploitation of mentally unsound individuals by cosmetic clinics. The people who really need the surgeries for genuine reasons such as acid attacks survivors, breast cancer survivors, can apply for it under exceptions. 
People also apply and seek government approval for a lot of things Driving license, Gun license, travelling to unsafe locations, why not cosmetic surgery.
Banning selective procedures in a society helps , it has been well documented in scientific research[1].

My opponent has not challenged the refined definition of Costmetic Surgeries, as being those that are not deemed medically necessary. As such that is the premise I am going with.

The argument against the resolution is very simple.

  • Implementing a ban would be akin to the thought police, wherein you would need to justify anything you do to enhance your body as being necessary.  
  • A ban of the type articulated in the resolution has not been demonstrated to have overall positive health or social benefit for the intrusiveness
My opponent states that they deny the thought police argument, yet they do not address any of the examples where an individual wants a minor surgical procedure and needs to defend it as a necessity before being permitted to get it

My opponent states that pre-term gender selection abortion is the same as "Cosmetic Surgeries".   That is preposterous.  A ban outlawing gender selection, or other eugenic based objectives is an entirely different topic.  Even if that case was addressed by this ban, the ban is way too broad (as already argued) to achieve its objective, and in doing so would impede the rights of everyone in the world who looks for even the most minor of procedures.

My opponents conduct is very aggressive, and disingenuous.   They accuse me of providing false lists, claiming tattoos are not cosmetic surgery.  Tattooing is a medical procedure, with the risks of infection and allergic reaction.  And the removal of a tattoo is certainly a medical procedure.  

I can go on, however, all of that is beside the point.   Through a few of my examples, my opponent has demonstrated the thought police.    They have shown that there needs to be an arbitrator to determine what is necessary or not. So you need to get a permit to be permitted to have that procedure. My opponent has justified the cosmetic surgery for two people based on their needs determination.  And they want to make that mandatory around the world, without showing what exactly they are solving, when taking away the rights of individuals to decide what they want to do with their bodies.

Pro admits that unlawful procedures (unlicensed or sanctioned in a respective county) cause deaths.  So to solve that problem they make it illegal everyone.   How does that address the death rate?  How does that remove the commercial demand for the procedures?

My opponent claims there are 330,000 cosmetic surgical procedures on children, yet they exclude all dental surgeries.    Out of those 330,000,  nearly half were Otoplasty.  3 of my family members had it done. The bullying and psychological stigma when you have ears that stick out is very difficult.  4400 suicides a year RE attributed to bullying.  (here)

My opponent now concludes that the objective of the resolution is to protect minors.  Yet another example of a massive, global broad stroke resolution to achieve a relatively minor gain versus the millions of people that would be affected.  Why should I have to prove to the government that my child is being bullied at school to get a permit for an otoplasty?  Or a tooth removal to take away crowding in the teeth so they look better.  Or any orthodontics work, or the laser removal of that nasty birthmark on her neck.

Banning all cosmetic surgeries save and except for those medically necessary,  the invocation of the thought police, and the gains do not outweigh the negative effect. Banning something does not mean the practice stops.  It goes underground.  My opponent should know this.  There are nearly 800,000 illegal abortions performed in India every year. There is no sound logic to the defense of this resolution.  
Round 3
PRO would like to reinstate that neither the definition nor the field has been challenged in any way, very qualified professionals spend their prime year perfecting the art before going into practise. Years of medical practise and know-how is need to become a cosmetic surgeon, they are qualified doctors. PRO's objection was to include procedures such as tattooing and piercing to be included under the umbrella of cosmetic surgeries, doing so would be equivalent of saying a 7th grade educated tattoo artist has the same qualification as a cosmetic surgeon.

CLARIFICATION REGARDING CONDUCT: PRO would like to affirm, he has abstained from any personal attacks, merely pointed out that a lot of the claims by CON, do not have adequate backing. Even now CON has provided a random website to be a source that tattoos are considered as a plastic surgery, PRO has stuck to medical journals and  reports by leading news publications, PRO would happily seed the point to CON should he provide a source that specifies tattooing as a medical procedure, but that has to be a scientific journal or conference report.

State should not meddle if  parents want to abort a child( known to be a girl) that should be considered their right to abort, is in the same lines as State should not interfere if a person wants plastic surgery.  Although individual liberty is also to have some check, in one form or that another. An individual can question the State as to why is the state interfering in an abortion, 
Then individual liberty has no limits , a person should be allowed to buy a gun just like he buys candy, because following permit and psychological evaluation curtails his/her civil liberty. We all know how that ends as, every year some person opens fire at an unarmed crowd in a mass shooting in USA and supporters of gun laws still value individual liberty over lives of dead school children. Reference being given to school shootings in America.
Then any person wanting to drive a car should be allowed with a car on road without any supervision of the driver's state.

To elucidate, PRO's argument is simple some form of limitation serves a much greater purpose to the society, If an individual wants to drive a car he/she does not have to go to court and fights years in a lengthy trial, a few days or few weeks of someone's time is only required to get a clearance, but the greater good is some unskilled rider does not get to have his/her own car and people on the road are much safer.

PRO reinstates the Psychological argument behind the again, a sizeable amount of people seeking such surgeries are suffering from mental disorder are in no position to opt for the procedures.

INDIA has a population of 1.3 billion, so 800,000 abortions(while are both male and female) serves just as 0.06% of the population, we are talking about 650 million females. The ban did a lot of good for girls.

CONCLUSION: Individual liberty should always be subjected to certain limitations as in the case of a person wanting to opt for cosmetic surgery.

This debate is about Cosmetic Surgeries for enhancing body parts that should be banned.  This is not a debate about eugenics or gender selection.

My opponent implies that the states should be entitled to limit the rights of individuals to get cosmetic surgery (that is not necessary), because it is akin to the regulations put in place for firearms ad drivers licenses.

MY OPPONENT does NOT show any valid reason to curtail elective cosmetic surgery.  Pro specifically said that people who have a psychosocial reason for cosmetic surgery are "in no position to opt for the procedures".

This is fucking ludicrous.  Dock me conduct points if you want, however, this argument is beyond nonsensical.  My opponent is saying that psychological reasons to address body image, presentation issues are not a prima facia case to allow cosmetic surgery.    Body image, body shaming, bullying, is known to be a significant issue.  I pointed out that 4400 children commit suicide every year in the US over bullying.  Some with cleft pallets,   some with large ears.  some with birthmarks, or scars from childhood injuries, bad teeth.  My opponent would expect a government-run licensing agency, the THOUGHT POLICE to question and validate appropriate actions, and BAR psychological reasoning.

My opponent says society will bet better.  "form of limitation serves a much greater purpose to the society,"    and has not shown a SINGLE piece of qualifying evidence that such a ban would be a great purpose to society.     How allowing someone to get a birthmark removed, relates to driving a car is beyond me.  I just don't get it.  

Finally, I articulated clearly that banning procedures sends them underground.   My opponents responded effectively saying it was a rounding error.  800'000 thousand illegal abortions in India are acceptable because of the population.

I have demonstrated the when you make something illegal, people will source the procedures underground, resulting in increased death, and injury.  My opponent has not addressed this.

My opponent has said that a government should decide if a procedure is warranted, this is the THOUGHT POLICE.
My opponent has said that those with psychological conditions should not be afforded the surgery
My opponent has not addressed the wide net a Cosmetic Surgery ban actually casts
My opponent has not addressed why society would be better with a ban
My opponent has minimized the "darkmarket" when obtaining illegal procedures, as statistically irrelevant.  I do not view 800.000 live lists as an irrelevant rounding statistical error.

Getting a birthmark removes, your teeth fixed, some lips lifted because you want them does not harm society.  My opponent has not shown how these procedures cause a problem, let alone how a ban solves said problem.

My opponent's position is baseless and without merit.  I am appalled at the attempted nature of the argument.   I concede the conduct point.    I am beyond irritated by the buffoonery that is dancing from the tips of my opponent's fingers, splattered onto the screen as a blizzard of bullshit, and irrational musings.  

Round 4
SIDE NOTE: There is no need to resort to usage of pejoratives in a debate to prove a point . Cogent arguments do a better job at moving the audience to CON's side, We are only debating for sport, nothing is at stake here. 

1.Stating that PRO has not provided any valid reason to curtail elective cosmetic surgery is equivalent to tainting the original factual information. 
PRO has shown case after case of so many news publications covering deaths of people[1][2][3][4][5], which were unnecessary. PRO has also shown reports of cosmetic clinics causing systematic deaths in an attached report[6]. PRO would further provide case report on breach of medical conduct and decorum[7]. Unwarranted deaths is suitable reason and perfectly fits grounds for medical negligence.

2.Debate topic is" Cosmetic surgeries for enhancing body parts", so PRO feels no obligation to argue about tooth related treatment such as  jaw realignment and even nose realignment all of which are  considered as correction of a body deformity, not enhancement. It is a medically established fact that faulty jaw-line causes difficulty in eating, sleeping, breathing.[8]

3.CON argues that banning would move the entire industry underground, PRO would argue that every practise in the world can be measured by risk vs benefit analysis.

RISK:Banning would mean, medical professionals who perform such procedures will be at risk of not only losing their hard earned licenses but also jail term for engaging in unlawful activities. Furthermore an average citizen of a country can be fairly assumed as law-abiding a plethora of people from various sections of the society will thus not opt to engage in unlawful activities.With the risk of losing license medical professionals would want higher incentive to perform elective cosmetic surgeries and thus driving the price of even underground/ back-door surgeries high and dissuading people from pursuing it.

BENEFIT: A person would allegedly have an improvement in his/ her aesthetic appeal.

Thus it can be safely concluded that with such high risks and such low benifits it will surely drive the numbers of surgeries performed low and thus preventing unwarranted deaths associated with it.

2.CON has resorted to abusing, rather than proving why psychological reason for annulment of elective procedure is invalid . PRO has stated from report that there is a sizeable percentage of people suffering from body related psychological disorders and attached report suggesting that over 50% of the people with those disorders who get the surgery end up being in a worse condition than before and it has led to potential suicide.[9]

a)Source provide by the CON does not corroborate with CON's claim that half of the 333,000 surgeries performed were Otoplasty. The source merely states it as one of the most common procedures being performed.[10]

b)The source of CON's statistic of 4400 deaths because of bullying is from a school website, not a media publication. Even if 4400 deaths took place because of bullying, CON will have to prove that all the bullying cases were related to looks and appearance of the child for it to be a valid argument. Some deaths are related to looks maybe, but stating that all bullying deaths are because of appearance is a huge exaggeration.[11]

CAUSE: Why would a person want to be operated by a surgeon and have artificial implants in his/her body?
For enhancement of aesthetic appeal would a common answer. This show of superficial beauty has known no bounds these days.

If a case study is to be looked at, Many celebrities in USA have openly admitted to usage of cosmetic surgeries to allegedly look more aesthetic and beautiful. The same type of surgeries undergone by celebrities have caused deaths in some cases."        A report from Minnesota Association of Children's mental health states that over 60% of the children compare themselves to fashion icons. Report further states over 78% of the girls are unhappy with their bodies.Study conducted in Australia found that seeing thin models on TV and in magazines made girls feel that they weren’t good enough, pretty enough, or thin enough.              "[12]

PRO's argument is and always has been simple surgery after surgery in order to achieve alleged superficial perfection, because some brands have set un-natural beauty standards is not the way to go. People have not stopped at cosmetic surgeries , girls have had their ribs removed in an attempt to look slimmer. [13]Mainstreaming of such practises only brings harm to the child and further aggravates the situation instead of ameliorating it.Thus is can be successfully established that social media influence of these celebrities who showcase such surgeries is only aggravating the body complexes and mental health problems specially in children. 

Without government intervention such brands have had their way publicizing un-natural and unhealthy practises, cosmetic surgery being one of the gravest of them.
Government intervention is soley needed because insecurities of children and adults are not some cash wagon to be made money of. Cosmetic industry for body enhancement is just an example of it. PRO suggests that what should be taught is it is okay to have imperfections and your body and self esteem is something to be loved, not ploughed over by commercials and artificially altered . 

Affirmative action is urgently needed on part of Child Development and Heath Ministries of various governments across globe to stop children and even adults to stop pursuit of superficial beauty standards set by brands. Banning and regulating such procedure does not solve the entire problem but it surely takes a step in the positive direction.Stringent government reforms and policies are needed to protect children and psychologically vulnerable parts of the society to help them better deal with body disorders.