Body art and medical need

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A company called Biojewellery has proposed to take a sample of bone tissue from a couple and to grow this sample into wedding rings. One of the ethical problems that such a proposal faces is that it implies surgery without medical need. To this end, only couples with a prior need for surgery are being considered. This paper examines the question of whether such a stipulation is necessary. It is suggested that, though medical need and the provision of health and wellbeing is overwhelmingly the warrant for surgical intervention, there is no reason in principle why other, non-medical, projects such as jewellery creation might not also warrant surgical intervention. Implicitly, this line of thought forces us to consider the proper place of surgical intervention - that is, to ask what surgeons are for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


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