The Ethics of Botox

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The Ethics of Botox

What is Botox?

Botox is short for Botulinum Type A Toxin, a protein complex produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Botox injection is one of the newest and among the most popular cosmetic procedures for wrinkles. Botox works magically to smooth out facial lines by preventing the muscles that cause frown lines from contracting. Only a tiny amount of this toxin is used in Botox injection for beautification purposes. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 1.6 million people received injection in 2001, which is a 46 percent increased from the previous year.[2]

A little about the history of Botulinum A toxin

This toxin is the very same one that causes food poisoning. Botulinal toxin has been found in a wide variety of foods, including canned corn, peppers, green beans, soups, beets, asparagus, mushrooms, ripe olives, spinach, tuna fish, chicken and chicken livers and liver pâté, and luncheon meats, ham, sausage, stuffed eggplant, lobster, and smoked and salted fish.[4] They are the toxins that we hope to never encounter in our everyday lives. However, interestingly enough when applied to a medical setting, this toxin has many medical advantages.

Botox was developed in the 1970s by a San Francisco doctor looking for ways to correct crossed eyes, or strabismus. He found that injections of purified botulinum toxin paralyzed the overactive muscles that cause strabismus; this allowed other eye muscles to operate normally. In 1989, the FDA approved the medical use of botox in the treatment of many muscle disorders, such as lazy eye, strabismus, uncontrolled blinking or blepharospasm. Within a few hours to a...

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...dem,?A party may not be the best setting for Botox injections? (2003), March 01, 2004, <\TANQUERAYM_ContentItem&mstr=/M_ContentItem/ZZZ1EHS9O0D.html&soc=ASPS&srch_typ=NAV_SERCH>

[20] Staff report, ?FDA Puts Wrinkle In Botox Marketing? (2002), Feb.28, 2004, <>

[21] U.S. FDA, Warning Letter, (2000), March 01, 2004, <>

[22] Carol Lewis, ?Botox Cosmetic: A look at Looking Good?, U.S Food and Drug Administration FDA Consumer Magazine, (2002), Feb. 28, 2004, <>

[23] Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Approaching Ethics, (2003), Feb. 29, 2004 <
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