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Cosmetic surgery and conscientious objection
  1. Francesca Minerva
  1. Correspondence to Dr Francesca Minerva, Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, University of Ghent, St Pietersnieuwstraat 49, Ghent 9000, Belgium; Francesca.Minerva{at}


In this paper, I analyse the issue of conscientious objection in relation to cosmetic surgery. I consider cases of doctors who might refuse to perform a cosmetic treatment because: (1) the treatment aims at achieving a goal which is not in the traditional scope of cosmetic surgery; (2) the motivation of the patient to undergo the surgery is considered trivial; (3) the patient wants to use the surgery to promote moral or political values that conflict with the doctor's ones; (4) the patient requires an intervention that would benefit himself/herself, but could damage society at large.

  • Conscientious Objection
  • Enhancement
  • Surgery

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  • Funding Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.