Recently, the Vatican weighed in on the controversial practice of cosmetic surgery for women: Cosmetic surgery for women. This past week’s headlines contained the following: “The Holy See Says Cosmetic Surgery Is a Burqa Made Out of Fetus Skin,” “Vatican Calls Cosmetic Surgery a Burka-Wearing Hatred,” “Vatican To Women: Cosmetic Surgery hides natural beauty,” and “Vatican To Women: Women Should Avoid Plastic Surgery.” On the surface, these headlines sound as if the Vatican is declaring war on the practice of cosmetic surgery. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Pope Francis is just beginning the process of encouraging Catholics to use more alternative means of healing instead of traditional medicine. This is why his recent statements on the subject were so refreshing:
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences issued a statement regarding the practice of cosmetic surgery for women: “A woman should not be encouraged into a process which she does not fully understand. She should know the consequences of the procedure, she wants to have and be aware of the side effects that come with the procedure, before she decides to get it. Only then should her body to be evaluated, both physically and psychologically.” These words are very encouraging because they highlight the importance of informing the patient of all of the risks associated with cosmetic surgery.
Furthermore, Pope Francis continues by stating that women who have plastic surgery should be treated with respect and dignity. He also said that any woman undergoing such a procedure should know that she has the right to ask questions before and after the procedure. This is extremely important because women do not necessarily understand the dangers associated with the process. In fact, they often go into a cosmetic surgery facility without even realizing the extent of their risk. By being educated about all of the possible dangers, they will be able to take proper precautions in the future.
Finally, Pope Francis states that plastic surgery for women should not be covered by insurance. The reason is quite clear: There is no way for an insurance company to cover any kind of procedure that could potentially cause harm to the individual. By making any type of procedure completely free of insurance coverage, a woman is making sure that she is able to get the procedures that are necessary for herself.
The Catholic Church is also taking steps to support the use of plastic surgery. For example, last week the Pontifical Academy of Sciences announced a new project to research, develop, and test products that have been developed for the treatment of breast cancer.