Australian Armed Forces Likely to Ban Breast Enlargements for Psychological Reasons

by Medindia Content Team on  February 18, 2008 at 2:13 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
Australian Armed Forces Likely to Ban Breast Enlargements for Psychological Reasons
Australia is to ban women in armed forces from undergoing breast enlargements for psychological reasons.

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon will order a full review and report into the practice of offering female personnel breast enlargements, nose jobs and tummy tucks.

"My instinct is to issue an immediate directive to put a stop to it,''  Fitzgibbon told The Sunday Telegraph.

"I've come to the conclusion that to make sure I'm making a fully informed decision - to guarantee that I'm not making the wrong decision in the absence of information about genuine cases where such surgery is justified on a psychological basis alone - I've decided to ask for a review and report on the issue.''

Last September, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that the Australian Defence Force had permitted five of its female personnel to undergo breast-enhancement surgery for psychological reasons and a further seven for medical reasons.

The ADF reacted angrily at the time and suggested that the women who had the operations had suffered breast cancer.

In fact, the ADF had spent $1.1 million on cosmetic surgery operations during 2006. Although some were genuine reconstructive surgery, other operations addressed psychological issues.

Fitzgibbon said he was skeptical over claims that breast jobs were an appropriate answer for a mentally unstable employee, but said he would await the results of the report.

"I want to know the full details of why they were done, what circumstances they were done in and who authorised the work,'' he said.

"Certainly, I can rule out any operations of that nature being done for purely cosmetic reasons."

Defence policy also permits penile enhancement surgery for male personnel suffering psychological or physical problems, but records indicate there have been no cases of employees undergoing this operation.

Fitzgibbon said that if the review indicated cosmetic surgery was an appropriate remedy for psychologically unstable females, it would be discriminatory to then rule out penile enhancements for male personnel.

"It would be discriminatory that one side of the gender equation could have surgery for psychological problems but the other couldn't. But again ... I'm skeptical," he said.

"If, in some cases, it's justified on psychological grounds, there will be changes to ensure the decision-maker is capable of being properly audited."

Source: Medindia

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