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September 17, 1999 10:26am
Rio Plastic Surgeon's Billboard Nude Sparks Row
Source: Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A plastic surgeon trying to stand out in Brazil's nip and tuck capital created more publicity than he expected when his billboard depicting a naked woman set off a row on medical ethics.

``I can't understand what they are so upset about,'' Luiz Fernando Dacosta said of the local doctor's group that has raised questions about whether it is ethical publicity.

``The woman on the poster is not showing explicit sex. She shows off well the perfect lines of the human body which is the major goal of plastic surgery,'' he told Reuters by phone from his surgery in a well-to-do Rio suburb Thursday.

A gift from the happy husband of a woman who went under Dacosta's knife, the backlit billboard shows a nude model lying in sensual pose under the words ``The Art of Plastic Surgery'' with the surgeon's name, address and telephone number.

The advertisement outraged members of the Regional Council of Medicine (Cremerj) which is looking into whether it violates medical publicity rules. Brazilian doctors are barred from using before and after photographs to show off their work or making exaggerated claims about their abilities.

``Doctors have an obligation to be moderate and he was not. A billboard of a nude woman like this exposes the whole medical establishment to ridicule,'' said Mario Jorge Noronha, a doctor and coordinator of Cremerj's truth in advertising commission.

The billboard, erected in early August, will stay in place for another two to three months before being replaced by one about science and surgery in the new millenium, Dacosta said.

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