Surgeon to compensate for before-and-after images

Surgeon to compensate for before-and-after images

SEOUL - A local court has ordered a plastic surgeon to pay compensation to a patient for posting her before-and-after photos on his clinic website without her consent.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled Sunday that the surgeon should pay 30 million won (S$30,000) to the patient who claims to have suffered psychological damage from the circulation of her image which was later used on other internet sites. The plaintiff had surgery on her nose at his clinic in 2009.

"The doctor violated the patient's portrait rights by posting the before-and-after photos without her consent and is obliged to pay compensation for her psychological damage," said the presiding judge Jeong Do-young in his ruling.

The female college student in her 20s who aspires to be an actress had her photos taken during the surgical procedure at the clinic, but didn't agree to the distribution of the images.

She found later that her photos had been posted on the clinic's website for commercial use and sued the surgeon, seeking 40 million won.

The surgeon claimed that her eyes were blurred in the photos to hide her identity but the court rejected the argument, saying the patient was recognizable due to other distinct features.

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