Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:28 am on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Luke Evans Luke Evans Conservative, Bosworth 10:28 am, 16th October 2020

Absolutely. My hon. Friend points out something worrying: if someone is vulnerable in the first place when they go for a procedure, unsure about why they are there, and is coerced into taking some further measure, that is a concern. It leads into a vicious cycle of returning again and again for an update on something that may never be achieved.

All that leads on to the idea of consent, which is really important for both patients and practitioners. We need to make sure that when someone goes for a procedure it is fully explained to them what the procedure is, why they are having it and what the consequences are, including the short-term and long-term complications. If someone goes to theatre to have an operation, it is spelled out to them. They have to sign a declaration to say that they understand it, and they and the person carrying out the operation are held accountable to that standard. That is really important. Sadly, that accountability is lacking, particularly in respect of fillers. That is the concern, because it leads to a variation in standards, an unregulated industry and the horrific cases that my hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks highlighted.

All that I have described applies to adults, but of course we are talking about under-18s. It is really important to make the point that this is about drawing these procedures into line. We already have statutory regulations that say that a person cannot have a tattoo until they are 18. The Bill would simply bring into line an industry that is burgeoning and blooming. That is the important point.

This is about protection, accountability and, most importantly, choice. We should encourage those who want to go ahead for the right reasons to have the right procedure done in the right way, and held to account in the right way. We need to protect, nurture and educate those under the age of 18 and allow them to make the decision when they become 18.