bgs final report_tattoo industry (2007)

They could do it as an option or as part of the whole

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Unformatted text preview: w rate of allergies, do you think it is ethical for tattoo artist to not give one? A: I can tell you comparing it with the US which does give a test patch. Unlike Singaporeans, the Americans are more trigger happy in terms of suing businesses. Hence, businesses may want to do it as a form of insurance. They could do it as an option or as part of the whole package. One important thing to consider is cost. Yes, it’s very ideal to have a test patch, but since the potential risk is small, one has got to be mindful of the cost and if it is high enough, businesses may include it as a payable option. If this is a good practice, why not encourage it in Singapore. In this respect I am coming from a legal perspective, because if I were to set up a business, I would want to protect myself legally. Q: There is a high level of hygiene in the tattoo parlour industry, but there is a lack of standard regulation in Singapore governing this. Is self regulation sufficient, or do you think the government bodies (e.g. MOH) could play a more active role? A: Governments generally try not to go into an industry unless there has been an issue raised, or a public outcry. As such I feel the current status quo is fine. Government cannot regulate everything, and should only step in as a last resort. I think it should be the industry’s initiative, led by the prominent firms, to possibly work with MOH to consider some regulations. This is because the industry may lack the expertise, and as such I think the Ministry would be glad to help out. I put it this way: If companies are conscious of what is required of them, government would not feel the need to step in. This is because when government does step in, it is likely to add to the cost of business. Besides, Government wants for 2 things—effectiveness and efficiency. It would not want to spend an inordinate amount of public resources on an issue which the industry has been handling well. At the very least, business should see it as an industry norm to set a minimum standard to put up health advisory in their shops for example. The industry is growing, and as such all you need is one bad hat to tarnish the industry’s reputation. Ethics is like a duty— given that the law sets minimum standards, it is important for business to impose a standard, raise the bar for all in the industry. In this way, the small players who want to enter into the industry just because they think the business is lucrative, rather than genuinely having an interest in the art form, will think twice about doing so. Appendix B2: Interview with Mr Clarence, Tattoo Enthusiast with visibly significant body art A: Yes definitely. The customers need to know of the unknown health risks. Q: Are the hygiene practices in tattoo parlours up to your expectations? A: The ones I go to yes. Q: Which ones are they? A: I go to Acid Crue and Primitive. Q: At what age did you get your first tattoo? Appendix B3: Interview (conducted in Chinese) with Mr Johnny Chua, Ex-Tattoo Enthusiast who regrets getti...
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