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Eyes Wide Open: Surgery to Westernize the Eyes of an Asian Child

The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 39, p. 15, 2009

4 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2008 Last revised: 25 Sep 2009

Alicia R. Ouellette

Albany Law School

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

By emphasizing parental rights, the law allows parents to choose surgery to modify a child for aesthetic, cultural, or social reasons unrelated to a physical or psychological need of the child. This paper explores the case of an adoptive parent who chose cosmetic surgery to open the eyes of his Asian daughter. The paper identifies the potential harm done to a child when a parent uses surgery to shape her body and the ways in which current law protects parental choice at the expense of children's rights. It then suggests that by conceptualizing the role of parents as trustees, the law would better protect children while maintaining parental choice in medically necessary cases.

Keywords: children's rights, cosmetic surgery, asian eye shaping, parental choice

Suggested Citation

Ouellette, Alicia R., Eyes Wide Open: Surgery to Westernize the Eyes of an Asian Child (2008). The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 39, p. 15, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1146609

Alicia R. Ouellette (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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