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Ethical Challenges With Nonsurgical Medical Aesthetic Devices

Hagopian, Chelsea O., DNP

doi: 10.1097/PSN.0000000000000253

The medical device industry is an incredibly profitable and rapidly growing sector of health care. In plastic surgery, the nonsurgical medical aesthetic device industry presents ongoing ethical challenges, specifically related to the principles of nonmaleficence and respect for autonomy. The purpose of this article is to increase awareness of the ethical challenges the nonsurgical medical aesthetic device industry presents, including use of deceptive or misleading language in advertising, limited evidence of efficacy, and lack of public and professional understanding of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation of medical devices. Practical application of ethics is presented through the lens of the Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements (American Nurses Association, 2015) and the Code of Ethics of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2017).

Chelsea O. Hagopian, DNP, Cofounder and nurse practitioner, MAINTENANCE, a nonsurgical aesthetics clinic in West Hollywood, CA.

Address correspondence to Chelsea O. Hagopian, DNP, MAINTENANCE, 8500 Melrose Ave, Suite 210, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (e-mail:

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2019 by American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses