UPDATE: Snopes, the urban legend and hoax website, now thinks that this is a scam. As I noted in the post, that would not be a surprise and in fact would be a relief. In such cases, I suggest that the post be read as a hypothetical, since the ethics issues raised by the three-breasted woman remain interesting, even if the story itself turns out to be fiction.
A 21-year-old woman being identified with the alias Jasmine Tridevil ( don’t over-think it) says she paid $20,000 to a plastic surgeon to give her a realistic third breast. She wants to become a TV reality show star. Jasmine has hired a camera crew to follow her around Tampa, Florida, documenting the challenges she faces as a three-breasted woman.
I know what you are thinking.
I HOPE this is a hoax.
“Jasmine” was rejected by more than 50 doctors who believed they would be violating professional ethical codes. Scot Glasberg, president-elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, condemned the surgery as ‘worse than unethical’ and ‘harmful to society’. ‘This violates every ethical principle not just in surgery but in medicine as well. We look to enhance the norm. This is not the norm. Nothing speaks louder than the fact that the surgeon required the patient to sign a non-disclosure form.”
Really? That surgeon was responding to inevitable reactions by hypocrites like Glasberg. If an extra breast isn’t “enhancing the norm,” what is? What should be regarded as “enhancement,” for an individual ought to be the choice of the individual. Glasberg’s argument was once used to condemn surgeons who pioneered gender re-assignment surgery. Why were Joan Rivers’ face or Michael Jackson’s, not to mention Heidi Montag’s, well, everything, more “the norm” than Jasmine’s three boobs? What if her look catches on? In the 1920’s, Dolly Parton would have been looked upon as almost as much of a freak as Tridevil.
I fear I am beginning to tilt libertarian as the years crawl by. The last time I discussed this issue (in 2011), reacting to this…
If Kristin can eat, drink and breath with her mega-lips, and there is no risk that they might explode, killing everyone near her, the decision to do what she wants is probably ethical, at least by medical ethics standards. The fact that her Chap-Stick costs will be astronomical is not the doctor’s concern, however.Remember, though, that professional ethics standards are only the minimum level of required ethical conduct, not best practice. I think a plastic surgeon who assists a patient, especially one so young, in disfiguring herself to this extent is unethical. Autonomy is to be respected always, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Kristin’s lips are so far beyond reason that a plastic surgeon debases his profession by assisting in what can fairly be called self-mutilation.
I think I was overwhelmed by “ick” in the earlier post. Unless it can be determined that Jasmine is mentally ill (and seeking to vary from the “norm” is not sufficient proof of that), I don’t see why the same profession that botoxed Faye Dunaway and Cher into Mount Rushmore-style facial paralysis gets declare a three-breasted women too weird to be ethical. It’s her body, and if the “enhancement” isn’t going to harm her, and might make it easier for her to pay her rent, she should be able to buy it without the accommodating surgeon having to join the witness protection program.
Or is it that I am the biased one, and appreciate extra breasts more than giant lips?
Graphic and Facts: Daily Mirror