Groupon Offers for Plastic Surgery: Unethical?

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The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) recently issued a statement arguing against marketing surgical procedures via online discount sites like Groupon. Such sites offer substantial discounts if enough people sign up for the offer within a set period of time, usually just 24 hours. 'One-day-only' offers featuring surgical procedures at a fraction of the total cost – along with a countdown clock and 'buy it for a friend' option – are not appropriate for the serious nature of undergoing surgery, says the group.

In the statement issued by BAAPS, plastic surgeon Dr. Adam Searle says “This belittling of the seriousness of undertaking a medical procedure degrades not only our specialty but also the medical profession as a whole... There are going to be patients who experience significant complications and lifelong damage from pursuing ill-planned and ill-thought-out operations.”

The statement also comments on the Groupon site's option to purchase the surgery without first consulting with the surgeon, saying “Selling surgical procedures without patients being first assessed for suitability is highly unethical and goes against every guideline and recommendation from the General Medical Council and the surgical associations.”

What do you think? Would you ever purchase rhinoplasty because you're offered a Groupon discount for it? Read more about the controversy here: