Outrage in the UK over Down Syndrome child's cosmetic surgery

The case of a Down syndrome girl subjected by her parents to cosmetic surgery to improve her appearance, has generated great controversy in the UK.

The parents of Georgia Bussey apparently put the child through "radical and painful" cosmetic surgery three times by time she was 5 so that she would be accepted by her peers.

Critics in the UK have condemned the action of the parents, with some claiming their behaviour amounted to child abuse.

Kim and David Bussey say no one complains when "normal" children have their ears pinned back and question why should it be any different for a Down's child.

They say they were motivated by love for their child and deliberated for a year before putting her through the ordeal.

The first procedure involved reducing Georgia's tongue to stop it from protruding, then folds of skin were removed from the inner corners of her eyes to take away the "slantiness characteristic" of Down Syndrome.

Finally Georgia had surgery to stop her ears from sticking out.

The Bussey's say society often judges people on the way they look and as society is not going to change overnight, so Georgia has to fit into society.

Another couple, Dr. Laurence and Chelsea Kirwan, are also reportedly considering surgical procedures for their two-year-old Down syndrome daughter, Ophelia.

Dr. Kirwan, is a well known plastic surgeon with practices in the UK and the U.S. and he says if Ophelia reaches the age of 18 and was being unfairly judged on how she looked, they will consider cosmetic surgery for her.

Kim Bussey says those who are critical are usually people who don't have Down’s children of their own and are unaware of the teasing and the problems Down's children have.

However much of the criticism stems from parents with Down's Syndrome children who say the children should be loved and cherished for who they are and not tampered with and altered because they look different.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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