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Is plastic surgery unethical?

Is plastic surgery unethical?

Rabbi David Krishef initiates another Ethics and Religion Talk in mLive in response to a questioner who asks, “I am considering cosmetic surgery to remove wrinkles, but I know some people believe that it is not ethical. What do you think?”


Krishef, in his weekly post, invites local Grand Rapids faith leaders to weigh in. Most of the responders (including Episcopal priest Nurya Love Parish) focused on the reasons behind the elective surgery as to determining the ethical value.

Krishef included these words:

“I hesitate to label any elective surgical procedure as unethical. At the same time, Judaism advises us to treat the body as a gift from God. Our society has an unhealthy obsession with the vigor of youth. Rather than treating the signs of aging as a sign of weakness and infirmity, better that we should treat crow’s feet and laugh lines and sagging cheeks as signs of experience and wisdom.”

What are your thoughts?


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Murdoch Matthew

Angela Lansbury had a neck job so she could continue taking Angela Lansbury parts. Jessica Fletcher followed.


Generally speaking, I believe God made us to be happy. If plastic surgery will make us happy—especially if it changes something that makes us profoundly UNhappy—I think it’s a blessing.

Of course, one’s own personal happiness is not absolute—to the exclusion of everyone else’s happiness. Only the individual conscience can discern whether the costs of these happiness-seeking procedures violates the happiness of others…

JC Fisher


What the headline says and what the article says are two different things. “Plastic surgery” covers a wide range of procedures, many of which are not merely cosmetic. Think of people with significant burns and scarring, for instance, or women who have had breasts removed because of cancer.

Cosmetic surgery, also, is not always just for looks.

A conversation can be had about the ethics of surgery undertaken purely for appearance, but not about “plastic surgery” generally.

– Anne LeVeque

John B. Chilton

Plastic surgery for a birth defect or an injury is ethical.

But what about plastic surgery for the purpose of deception? Consider a car where you rollback the odometer. It still has the same wear and tear. What is ethical to hide from the prospective buyer? What is ethical to hide from the prospective mate?

Physical appearance signals fitness as a mate for having children. Is it wrong to cloud this signal?

But consider someone who looks older than their years through use of meth, cigarettes or alcohol. And is now living a healthy lifestyle. Isn’t it ethical to change appearance via plastic surgery in this case?

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