Court rejects consent for body modification

[AMICUS CURIAE] Ever wondered that you’d regret inking that bold “no regrets” tattoo just two hours after or whether a body part might irreversibly cease to function the way that it habitually did due to the new body modification that you consented to?

Clearly, these have not been concerns for clients who voluntarily permitted and paid “Dr Evil”, a licensed bod mod artist and an unlicensed medical practitioner to fork their tongues resembling a reptile, slice ears and remove nipples, “to create a smooth body canvas fit for tattoos”. Without anaesthesia. While these cringe-worthy surgeries may compel one to question another’s mental sanity, the Court of Appeal ruled that even though such consent does not challenge the mental competency of an adult, it nullifies the consent itself. In its first ever prosecution condemning body modifications, the court stated that wounding a person even with their consent but without medical justification was against public interest and thus inexcusable under criminal law.

The charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm were therefore not brought by any clients but by the City Council that describes these happily transformed clients as victims instead. The court further unequivocally compared consent provided by participants in violent sports resulting in injury to incidents of body modifications and held that the two situations were incomparable.

This landmark judgment drastically changes the concept of consent relevant to this industry and allows a third party such as the City Council to reject such consent and punish the perpetrator. Fellow tattoo artists and clients consider this outcome to be an “unfair test case” that deprives consenting adults from freely expressing themselves through body art. The court however, followed a judicial precedent where a husband was punished for branding his wife’s buttocks with a hot knife despite her consent.

In other parts of the world, carrying out such extreme body modifications or what can safely be labelled as amputations are legally banned. For bod mod enthusiasts, cases like these are likely to shut down the industry, confining these medical procedures to be carried out by registered medical professionals. As for Dr. Evil, he awaits his sentence hearing and his bail conditions prohibit him removing any body parts.

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