Minors as young as 14 years old are allowed to undergo cosmetic plastic surgery, including breast implants, nose jobs and Botox, as long as they have parental permission, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has ruled controversially.
Last week’s ruling came less than a year after the same court prohibited minors under 18 from having aesthetic operations except in rare medical cases.
The legislation has pitted some of the country’s most progressive lawmakers against top health experts in the field.
Dr. Ernesto Barbosa, the executive secretary of the Colombian Society of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, warned that the risks of plastic surgeries are much greater for minors because they have not reached full development at 14.
In June 2016, the court argued that cosmetic operations pose grave health risks for minors, as bodies in early adolescence are still growing, and young teenagers, vulnerable to social pressures and commercial standards of beauty, cannot make a choice with such long-term consequences responsibly.
Last week, the court defended the option to go under the knife as vital to minors’ rights to personal freedom, intimacy and psychosocial development.