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

Apr 10, 2021Health Law & Malpractice

Omur Boyu Ehliyet Donemi Sona Erdi

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.  

Above, we have mentioned the same issues we did in the notion of medical intervention; therefore, we won’t touch on same issues again. 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. Indication is one of the conditions that makes the medical intervention of the physician in compliance with the laws.

Although there is often no medical indication in the applications that we will exemplify with interventions such as aesthetic interventions and circumcision, the presence of psychological indication is accepted as such interventions have the purpose of treatment, albeit indirectly, except for circumcision. In other words, the fact that medical interventions performed outside of diagnosis, treatment and protection purposes that do not constitute the primary purpose of gaining health to the person, are in compliance with the law means that the type of social and psychological indication is also accepted.

However, there is an important point to take into consideration. Since there is no necessity in 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 the danger is high and there is a possibility of great harm, and an action to the contrary makes the physician’s action unlawful.


4.1. Indication in terms of aesthetic interventions with different purposes

  1. In terms of Aesthetic Interventions for Healing Physical Discomfort 

Since the main purpose of eliminating the existing anomaly that has occurred either congenitally or later spontaneously or as a result of an accident and providing an aesthetic appearance, is treatment; regarding the existence of a medical indication and the lawfulness of the intervention, both the Doctrine and the Court of Cassation adopt the same opinion and evaluate such medical interventions in accordance with the law in the presence of general conditions regarding compliance with the law.

  1. In Terms of Aesthetic Interventions for Healing Mental Disorders 

Since aesthetic interventions for healing mental disorders, although being indirectly, have the purpose of treatment, despite not being medical, presence of psychological or social indications are sufficient enough for such interventions to be considered in compliance with law. 


  1. In Terms of Aesthetic Interventions Aiming Just Beautification

Since aesthetic interventions with just beautification purposes does not qualify for treatment purposes directly or indirectly, even if the consent of the patient is present, are considered unlawful in the doctrine according to the majority. 

However, the de facto shared opinion in Turkish legal practice is that these interventions will be accepted in accordance with the law when they do not have an insignificant effect on the physical or mental health of the person, they are not applied in a way that causes unacceptable consequences for the society, there is no medical condition in terms of the patient’s life and health, the subject of the intervention is not contrary to the law and morality and the consent of the patient to be intervened is obtained. The Court of Cassation also accepts such aesthetic interventions that do not have a treatment purpose in compliance with the law, even if they are purely for beautification.