Author Topic: Ink your eye  (Read 306 times)

TheDrake

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Ink your eye
« on: May 31, 2019, 08:53:00 AM »
So, I stumbled across an article from BBC about a person who happened to have an eye tattoo.

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An artist, in this case, injects a tiny amount of ink under the conjunctiva (the clear membrane covering the front of the eye) and over the sclera (the whites of the eye).

Needless to say, this can make you blind, and there is no way to reverse it later in life.

Manitoba would like to ban the practice. Ontario has already banned it. Oklahoma has banned it.

It brings up an interesting philosophical question. Do you have the right to modify your body in any way you see fit? If you do, does the state have the right to make it illegal for anyone to actually perform the practice?

Assuming you do this, then why wouldn't the state have the right to ban all tattoos?

I'm generally not a fan of legislation designed to save people from themselves, whether that's helmet laws, tattoos, or drugs.

NobleHunter

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2019, 10:03:56 AM »
Depends on how they ban it. If it's too dodgy for licensed practitioners to do (which it sounds like) then the government has reasonable grounds to make not doing it a condition of the license. So it's not that a person can't do it, it's that no one who has the ability is allowed to do it to them.

Under that logic, the government can license tattoo artists but not ban them. I think.

TheDrake

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 10:21:16 AM »
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The Manitoba Association of Optometrists and the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba issued a news release Tuesday in support of the bill, which would prohibit scleral tattooing — tattooing on the white of the eye — and eye jewelry insertion.

Straight prohibition. The inventor of the practice suggests that only Ophthalmic surgeons could do this safely, but that amounts to prohibition because I don't think you'd find many of them willing to do it. Any more than you'd find an MD to perform tongue splitting.

JoshuaD

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 01:07:43 PM »
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Do you have the right to modify your body in any way you see fit?

No, I don't think so.  Generally, I think the government should avoid passing laws that punish people for modifying their bodies, but I don't think we have a "right" to do it.

I don't think we should pass a law saying that we can throw you in prison if you inject ink into your eyeball.  At the same time, I think we can pass a law saying that you can't sell that service to others.

There is a distinction between doing something to yourself and paying someone else to do something to you. 

rightleft22

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 01:50:02 PM »
If someone sticks a needle in their eye and goes blind is society responsible for taking care of them financially?

TheDrake

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2019, 02:09:14 PM »
If someone sticks a needle in their eye and goes blind is society responsible for taking care of them financially?

Aha, here comes that slippery slope. It seems that if you accept that premise, you can only find equilibrium at one of two endpoints. Society should never take care of anybody, or society has the right to prohibit any activity that might cause it to take care of somebody. This is what has been used to justify many behavioral laws. Drugs, alcohol, prostitution, helmets, seat belts - those we have. But why not extreme sports, motorcycles in general, pie eating contests, soda pop, mountain climbing, and swimming? Basically any activity that could injure or maim could result in SSDI as a directly measurable cost to society, and many unhealthy activities could result in medicare or medicaid payments.

scifibum

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 02:13:10 PM »
No surprise since I'm not a libertarian, but I think regulation of commerce is an essential government function and that sometimes includes outlawing the sale of services that are unsafe. Obviously we draw the line somewhere north of "zero risk" - ear piercing and tattoos are great examples of services that CAN harm people - but those services are subject to regulation to make them more safe. I'm OK with banning eye tattoos and hair trimming via fire.


I don't think society taking care of disabled people is a particularly slippery slope. I don't think it normally creates a very compelling incentive to become disabled. I certainly wouldn't trade my eyesight or my hands for a subsistence income.

Crunch

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 03:15:37 PM »
Quote
Do you have the right to modify your body in any way you see fit?

No, I don't think so.  Generally, I think the government should avoid passing laws that punish people for modifying their bodies, but I don't think we have a "right" to do it.

I don't think we should pass a law saying that we can throw you in prison if you inject ink into your eyeball.  At the same time, I think we can pass a law saying that you can't sell that service to others.

There is a distinction between doing something to yourself and paying someone else to do something to you.

That's not very pro-choice.

JoshuaD

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 04:09:56 PM »
If someone sticks a needle in their eye and goes blind is society responsible for taking care of them financially?

To a degree, yes, I think so.  I don't know if the fulfillment of that responsibility is best expressed through the government or through private charity (I tend to prefer each in varying degrees), but the simple question to your answer is:  yes, we have an obligation to care for one another, even when we do stupid things that make it harder for everyone.

This generosity has a limit and a proper expression, like all virtues, but yea, we have an obligation to be generous to people even when they do stupid things. (And we all do stupid things that harm the people around us.). In many ways, those are the times when we are most in need of charity. 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 04:12:59 PM by JoshuaD »

Pete at Home

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 07:39:00 PM »
Most pro choices don't argue that a y twit can set up an abortion or do hearts or eye surgery.

DonaldD

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Re: Ink your eye
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 06:32:10 AM »
There's a difference between sticking a needle in one's own eye, and sticking a needle in somebody else's eye.