, Volume 42, Issue 3, p 323
Date: 14 Nov 2012

Should a Psychiatrist Give Legal Advice on Cosmetic Genital Surgery?

This is an excerpt from the content

The UK Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act 2003 states that “A person is guilty of an offence if he excises, infibulates or otherwise mutilates the whole or any part of a girl’s [or woman’s] labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.” In a case report about a woman undergoing clitoridectomy following a previous unsatisfactory cosmetic labiaplasty, Veale and Daniels (2012) noted that “Anatomically, there is little to distinguish FGM from some of the procedures involved in carrying out legitimate surgery.” This is correct, but begs the question as to who decides the legitimacy of such surgery.

The Act states that “no offence is committed by an approved person who performs a surgical operation on a girl which is necessary for her physical or mental health” but also that “…it is immaterial whether she or any other person believes that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.” Is cosmetic surgery as performed in clinics such as Restore UK (http://www.gynecosmetics.com/