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The modification of the body or mind and its risks. By Ricardo Lorenzetti

Nowadays, the idea of not liking our body or mind is at its peak. Consequently, we tend to embark ourselves into the task of modifying them, if we can pay for it.

The publicity surrounding plastic surgery offers a varied catalog of esthetic readjustments in order to diminish the visible impact of time in our skin such as the elimination of wrinkles, nose jobs, lifting, plumping our lips, chin surgeries, hair implants, and liposuction and so on and so forth.

Also, the amount of chirurgical interventions tend to increase with time because each person needs a retouch when they get older.

These kind of modifications have not only had an impact on our physical world, but also on our mental world. It is not rare to find people who get easily upset or maybe can’t sleep. Also, others suffer from mental breakdowns or stress. Those who feel unstable or uneasy tend to consume all type of legal drugs in order to cope with any mental obstacles they may be facing. Mozart, Beethoven, Van Gogh or Nietzche couldn’t contain their internal force, which led them to exploit their creative abilities, and to a certain extent, their madness, which would have been vanished instantly with the use of psychopharmaceuticals.

We should also bear in mind the influence of the established esthetic models that make us change our daily conducts, guided by diets designed by medical professionals.

This evolution has been of great positive impact for the human wellbeing. However, the law is examining some negative aspects that have arose with the excessiveness linked to these procedures.

The wellbeing that the medical field provides should be linked to the protection that the Law gives.

The first question that arises is about the medical science’s main objective, which has always been known as the “art of healing”. Lately, it has transformed into the “art of modifying”. In general, those who want to change their appearance are healthy people who aren’t looking for a cure of any kind. They are looking forward to change their body or conduct. It’s clear that there is a short or medium term result when performing these kind of procedures and that is becoming a happier person and that, to a certain extent, is a way of healing. It is also true that there is a repairing aesthetic that aims to solve any major physical deformation due to genetics or even accidents.

We cannot make rigid distinctions: let’s assume that 4 people have an equally crooked noses. One of them has that nose due to genetics, the other due to an accident, the other one due to a street fight and the forth one due to no evident reason. The end result (a crooked nose) is the same and the chirurgical intervention too. Hence, it is not very convincing to treat them with different parameters.

The law’s current main preoccupation is linked to any cases in the medical field whose immediate purpose is not healing and where benefits are offered without mentioning the risks.

30 years ago, scholars started to study this new tendency and to look for a solution: people’s informed consent.

This technique allows to surpass the cognitive deficit that exists in each practice because no one is in conditions of anticipating the side effects of each medical procedure. Today, it is a legal requirement incorporated by the New Civil and Comercial Code and in several special laws.

Those who perform the procedure have the obligation to inform their patient all the possible risks or side effects that may be originated.

Furthermore, the professional needs to explain whether he offers a precise end result or not. Normally, in the medical field it is almost impossible to offer efficacy because, besides the fact that there are some prohibitions regarding this matter, it is also hard to prevent all possible outcomes. But if someone promises a particular end result, even without efficacy, he is responsible. If the procedure doesn’t successfully provide the promised outcome, that can originate responsibility.

There is another aspect that motivates several preoccupations and that is publicity and its capacity to inflict a determined behavior.

For instance, low fat products have had a boom lately, originating a brand new sector within the market dedicated to healthy consumable products. Hence, the gap between the drug and the food becomes blurrier with time because, whenever we can, we buy healthy products.

In the social aspect, is astonishing the way medical knowledge has shaped behaviors or conducts in a homogenous way. People have started to run every morning, drink antioxidants, and adopt dietary regimes in order to fill into the social standards.

These are good signs, but control is needed.

A couple of years ago, publicity promoted tobacco consumption, hiding its side effects, until the truth unveiled and everything crumbled. Years of inciting a determined conduct which led to sickness. What guarantee do we have that publicity is not hiding any side effects as it happened with cigarettes?

The quantity and quality of induction techniques have grown exponentially.

The clearest proof is that we all tend to behave similarly, even though we think we are making decisions out of our own will.

In public and private law, there are mechanisms to control inductive publicity and it is very important that we become aware of that because these techniques have been growing exponentially and, if there is no control, severe damage may be caused.