The Notion of Medical Intervention for Aesthetics

Medical intervention in terms of aesthetic treatments refers to any intervention that aims to remove unwanted physical deformations and help one function better. This is because aesthetic medical interventions essentially "fix" one's looks and help one to gain a better self-perception. 

What is Considered Aesthetic Treatment?

Sometimes referred to as aesthetic practices, treatments do not come in one form that fits everyone. Any procedure that deals with the physical imperfections of one can be called an aesthetic treatment. Some examples of aesthetic treatments in the medical world are as follows:

  • Laser treatments
  • Medical skincare application
  • Botox, face fillers
  • Anti-wrinkle treatments
  • Rhinoplasty

These treatments and many other aesthetic interventions can be done for a number of different reasons. Most commonly, these procedures aim to heal physical discomfort, mental disorders and beautification. Since aesthetic treatments can change the physical appearance of the person, they must be done by someone who is an expert in her/his field, otherwise it might end up as a "botched" surgery.

What is the Difference Between Cosmetics and Aesthetics?

The difference between cosmetics and aesthetics is that medical aesthetic treatments can fall on the lighter side of medical interventions, while cosmetic surgeries can change the entire appearance of a body part. 

Therefore, there may be differences in terms of compliance with the law regarding aesthetic interventions. To be able to carry out legal transactions by being aware of the legal distinctions in question, you need a lawyer's consultation.

Conditions of Compliance with the Law of Medical Interventions for Aesthetic Purposes

Conditions may be listed as the person going to make the medical intervention to be a physician, in other words the practice of the medical profession by those who are legally authorized, the presence of the indication in the intervention, the elucidated patient's consent, intervention to be done regardful in accordance with medical standards.

The important matter in medical interventions for aesthetic purposes is the presence of the indication. Indication, meaning the necessity of the medical intervention, is compulsory in the aspect of compliance with the laws of medical intervention to be done by a physician, a dentist, or an authorized medical personnel according to the intervention. The indication is one of the conditions that make the medical intervention of the physician in compliance with the laws.

However, since there is no necessity for medical interventions applied for aesthetic purposes, even if the patient has given consent to the medical intervention to be applied, the physician must avoid the intervention in cases where there is a possibility of great harm and an action to the contrary makes the physician's action unlawful.

Obligations of Physicians in Turkey

Contract of work is regulated in Article 470 of the Turkish Code of Obligations: "Contract of work is the kind of contract in which a contractor agrees to emerge a work, in exchange, the party ordering the work agrees to pay a charge."

As stated by 2009/5712 E. – 2009/6219 K., which was made by the 15th Legal Department of the Court of Cassation on 16.11.2009, even if it includes a treatment purpose, to achieve an aesthetic appearance is the main and dominant purpose of the intervention, that all aesthetic medical interventions performed by dentists are the contract of work and its decisions regarding such interventions are based on the provisions of the contract of work.

In this regard, physicians in Turkey who are on contract work are subject to the following obligations:

Physician's Obligations Against the Patient based on Medical Agreement

  • Duty of Loyalty and Care

The agent is obliged to carry out the works and services s/he undertakes with loyalty and care, taking into account the rightful interests of the principal.

  • Personal Obligation of Deed

As a debt arising from a medical contract, the physician is obliged to treat his patient him/herself. The same rule is also valid for the physician to diagnose.

  • Physician's Other Obligations Against the Patient

The physician has an obligation to learn the patient's medical history, prescribing the necessary medication and describe the consummation of the said medicine, use a medical technique, keep a record of the treatment, and develop professional knowledge as well as the obligation of secrecy.

Obligations of the Physician in Terms of Interventions Subject to Contract of Work 

  • The obligation of Creating and Delivering the Work

The contractor has an obligation to create the work as specified in the contract and deliver it to the party ordering work, as a result of him/her being liable of the result

  • Personal Obligation of Deed

The contractor is obliged to do the work personally or to have it done under his/her management.

  • Obligation to Provide Tools, Equipment and Materials

The liability to provide tools, equipment and materials belongs to the contractor unless a custom exists or an agreement exists.

  • General Notice (Notification) Obligation

The contractor must immediately notify the party ordering work given that is understood that the approximate price determined at the beginning for the work to be created will be excessively exceeded, 

  • Liability for Defects

Along with the obligation of producing the work by the contractor and delivering it to the employer, creating this work without any defects constitutes the principal debt of the contractor

The Case of Negligence in Aesthetic Treatment

In the legal sense, botched surgeries can be considered malpractice under certain circumstances. For instance, if one of the medical professionals who are performing the procedure on the client is found "negligent", then the patient can be eligible for compensation. If your questions are still unanswered, then you can always feel free to consult Istanbul Lawyer Firm about your queries on medical law. 

To find out more about the notion of medical intervention for aesthetics in the legal sense, you can contact Istanbul Lawyer Firm and benefit from Turkish malpractice lawyers that have extensive knowledge in such subjects. With their experiences and expertise, you can make sure that all your questions will be answered. 

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