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Unformatted text preview: ies and Brits. Annex B: Interviews conducted for
“Personal” Aspect of Ethical Test
Interview with Dr Eugene Tan,
Legal Academic who researches into
Business Ethics, Public Ethics, and
Ethics Conflict Regulation
Q: Should there be a minimum age for tattooing? If
so, what age? A: Yes, I think there should be a minimum age. This
is because young people are impressionable and
societal norms still look at tattoos with disapproval.
Even in the military, the pre-medical check ups
are still conducted to look for tattoos because of
the possible link with secret societies. Employers
may still be uncomfortable and conservative
employers may continue to carry certain
prejudices and bias. Young people may regret this
permanent scarring and as a parent I would not
want my child to have the full liberty to getting
tattoos. I would take the legal perspective of 21
being the minimum age. It is the age at which the
law considers a transition into adulthood, where
one has the legal capacity to enter into contracts.
Q: Do you think it is ethical for tattoo artist to not
disclose the health risk to customers before
A: I take the stand that customers may not be fully
aware of the possible or potential health risks and
bad reputation that will be caused by getting a
tattoo. The firms are under no legal obligation, but
it is good for the industry and the artist to inform
customers of the potential health risks. I am
inclined to think that tattoo shops cannot say
“buyers beware” or as they call it in Latin “Caveat
Emptor”, but yet I believe businesses have a
social and moral duty, above the legal duty, to
ensure customers know what they’re in for—and
this makes business sense. Although disclosing
the health risks may dissuade the customers,
firms shouldn’t take that view because there are
real risks involved. Furthermore, if you’re
confident of your product and can assure
customers that the service you offer is safe and
the dyes you use are reliable, then why not. I’m
more conservative, and so I would regard that the
parlours have an ethical duty to inform their
customers, especially so if he is under aged.
There is also a valid health concern as tattooing
breaks the skin and could spread infections like
HIV, AIDS and yes, the government is quite
concerned about this.
Q: But Professor Tan, ought not the customers read
up the risk prior to the procedure?
A: I feel it is not fair to impose the burden entirely on
the business, but at the same time I think the
customers may not be fully aware, especially
those who are not highly educated. Put it this way:
if a customer changes his mind after given all the
information, business should take it as a good business decision. Unhappy customers would be
unsatisfied and not want to go back to them,
furthermore they will dissuade their friends to
patronize that parlour.
Q: A test patch is used to test for an allergic reaction
of the tattoo recipient’s skin to the tattoo ink.
Given the lo...
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This document was uploaded on 01/14/2014.
- Winter '14