Whose Boobs Are They, Anyway?

|

On Wednesday an FDA advisory panel recommended that silicone breast implants be permitted back on the market after an 11-year ban. A story in yesterday's New York Times by science reporter Gina Kolata, who has long treated unsubstantiated claims about the hazards of implants with appropriate skepticism, brought home the significance of the decision. Kolata reported that Michael Miller, a Houston plastic surgeon who served on the advisory committee,

suggested that the panel's problem reflected a deeper issue. Safety, he said, is a ratio of benefit to risk, and when it comes to implants, few agree on benefits.

Some who testified at the meeting felt so strongly that breast implants were unnecessary, and even immoral, that not even a perfect safety record would persuade them that they should be sold. Others saw such an enormous benefit that they were willing to accept substantial risk.

The risks of the device, in contrast, "are pretty clear," Dr. Miller said. There is a short-term risk, primarily of rupture or contracture. As for long-term risks, of diseases like cancer, chronic fatigue, lupus, arthritis and neurological disorders, they have not shown up in large epidemiological studies, he said.

"What we have to avoid is getting into the business of deciding for people what the benefit is," Dr. Miller said. "The person who wants the surgery has to go through the risk-benefit exercise in their own mind. A large amount of latitude has to be given to people to decide for themselves."

Advertisement

NEXT: The Soldier's Life

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “What we have to avoid is getting into the business of deciding for people what the benefit is,”
    A shame that California’s Democratically-controlled legislature and 11th hour governor don’t feel the same way. They just banned the sale of ephedra in CA.
    If Democrats are the party of freedom and personal choice, wouldn’t they feel that it is up to me to decide if I want to take a supplement? Why would the government stop me?
    [not a hardcore conservative, but my libertarian leanings are increasingly driving me away from anti-personal freedom Democrat policies]

  2. This is starting to become a very troubling trend by the government. Banning substances or products based on a strong lobby from either drug companies, or moral high grounders.

    Breast implants??!! As if they have EVER been a significant health risk. I hate to sound anti-feminist here, but HELLO not a single woman that EVER experianced any side effect from breast implants were forced to have a boob job. Its not like some plastic surgeon warned some shallow woman that if she didnt get her bust increased she only had 6 months to live. Its like someone suing a coke dealer because they got a hole in thier nose.. duh.

    Worse yet, the other night Hardball had the drug czar on venting about the recent SCOTUS ruling regarding doctors advise on Marijuana. His entire 5 minute rant consisted of plugging GlaxoSmithKline/Pfizer/Shering-Plough drugs as alternatives that are proven, effective and FDA approved. His entire argument against marijuana as a medicinal drug was, we have companies that make better drugs, you need to buy those.

    Why is the FDA waisting time on breast implants?? As far as I know, boob jobs still occur daily, hell my next door neighbors wife just got her’s done a few months ago.

    Lets focus on the more pressing issues, such as cancer research… you know, the research that only seems to be funded by government grants and the europeans. There is not a major drug company in the US currently researching cancer cures, cancer treatments, but no cures. Yet my granddad is happy to know that his dick can still get hard thanks to Pfizers billions in research.

  3. Pirate-

    The problem goes even deeper than banning voluntary actions on the grounds that they hurt the people making the choice. That would be bad enough. Worse is that the evidence of harm has turned out to be bogus. Silicone implants do have side effects, but apparently they’re no different than side effects from saline implants.

    The way the lawsuits worked was this: Woman gets silicone implants. Soon after she gets a disease that she’s never had before, and nobody in her family has had before. She goes to the jury and says “I felt fine until I got the implants.” Jury gives her lots of money.

    Never mind that lots of women get the exact same disease without getting implants, and that there has never been any real evidence to show that silicone implants cause these diseases. When it’s a contest between a person weeping over disease, versus some geek in a lab coat citing statistics, and when juries are picked with an eye toward minimizing the IQ of the jury, the sympathetic figure wins every time.

  4. I’m going to play it safe and have only the right one done.

  5. Petit boobousie

  6. breast implants are totally evil disgusting ugly hideous immoral things. they are for cheap women. however i know 4 a fact some women-probably less than 0.1% are forced into the surgery. i think all cosmetic surgery should be banned. those evil selfish women and men should donate that money if they have so much to throw away.

  7. who wants 2 hard footballs for “breasts” women with implants dont have breasts-they have silicone objects!gee-even a man could buy those if he was crazy enough!!!!!!

  8. ugly plastic boobs

  9. EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    IP: 212.253.2.204
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/21/2004 06:34:45
    Ethics is not necessarily the handmaiden of theology.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.