(AFP) – Apr 23, 2008
BERLIN (AFP) — Deputies from Germany's ruling coalition called Wednesday for a ban on cosmetic surgery for children and adolescents, with some members also demanding a ban on tattoos and body piercings.
"Wishing for a breast job after finishing high school is no longer the exception," wrote the bill's 30 parliamentary co-sponsors.
Using industry data, Karl Lauterbach, health expert for the Social Democratic Party (SPD), estimated as many as 100,000 children and teenagers received cosmetic surgery annually.
"I believe that the beauty ideal, mostly for teenagers but also for children, has gone astray," Lauterbach, who studied medicine, said in an interview with broadcaster NDR.
Lauterbach and other sponsors of the bill have also said they are concerned about reports of small children receiving tattoos and body piercings, a position echoed by the Federation of Pediatricians (BVKJ).
"We see with great worry the growing number of procedures for children under 10 with all kinds of piercings and permanent tattoos," BVJK head Wolfram Hartmann said.
The German Society for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery (DGAEPC) said however that the operations were often medically necessary and that lawmakers were using exaggerated figures that had "nothing to do with reality."
"If you (lawmakers) knew how thankful 14 to 16 year-old patients are after these procedures, that would put your worries in context," Joachim Graf von Finkenstein, head of DCAEPC, said.
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