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Designer Minor: Creating a Better Legal Regime for Pediatric Cosmetic Procedures

By Hannah Oliason. Full Text.

Each year, thousands of minors in the United States undergo elective cosmetic surgeries to “enhance” their appearances. In the case of young children, these surgeries are most often arranged by parents or guardians with little to no state oversight, despite the physical and psychological risks of such procedures. This Note proposes a new and improved legal regime for pediatric cosmetic surgeries that seeks to balance the competing interests of children, parents, and the state. It discusses children’s interest in bodily integrity, parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, and the state’s parens patriae authority. It argues that cosmetic surgeries and high-risk non-surgical procedures for children under the age of 14 should undergo prior authorization by state medical boards.