SINGAPORE — A beautician who administered fat-melting injections to four customers had not been licensed to do so.
Instead, Tiers Marie, 36, had the customers sign a consent form to confirm that they knew the possible side effects of the injections, and to release her from liability.
Tiers was jailed for 12 days on Wednesday (19 January) after pleading guilty to one out of four counts under the Medical Registration Act. She indicated to the court that she will be appealing her sentence.
Tiers, who was not a registered medical practitioner with the Singapore Medical Council and had no practising certificate, had an Instagram account advertising fat melting and botox services.
One customer, a 28-year-old woman, came across her Instagram account on 6 February last year and made an appointment for fat melting injections for the same day.
When she arrived at Tiers’ premises at Geylang East, she was taken to a bedroom where she was informed that Tiers was a beautician. She asked the woman to sign a consent firm indicating that she understood that many small injections would be needed in the treated areas, the risk of side effects and to release Tiers from any liability.
Tiers then applied numbing cream to parts of the woman’s body. She gave three to five injections on the right side of the customer’s waist; five to 10 injections on her abdomen; three to five injections on the left side of her waist; and five to 10 injections on each of her arms.
Tiers then applied an ice pack over the injection areas. The customer paid Tiers $864 via PayNow before leaving.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) received information about Tiers’ practice, and officers from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and HSA conducted joint inspections at her premises on 8 February 2021.
Tiers admitted to performing fat melting injections for about 30 customers and Botox injections for about 10 customers between September 2020 and February last year.
Danger of complications
An expert opinion from a licensed doctor was sought to assess if Tiers had been acting as a medical professional, and the doctor affirmed this.
He noted that Tiers had applied topical local anaesthetic to areas of the woman’s body, administered medication beneath the skin surface, and administered post-procedural treatment such as ice packs and dressings.
The doctor added that there were several potential complications that would have needed expedient treatment.
MOH prosecutor Andre Moses Tan sought two to four weeks’ jail for Tiers.
Tan told the court that the other two customers paid $388 and $576, while the remaining patient could not remember how much she paid.
Tiers’ lawyer Andrew Wong said in mitigation that his client had not undermined public confidence in the healthcare system as she had not misrepresented herself to be a doctor. He added that the customers were informed of the side effects and risks.
Wong argued that his client suffered from long term chronic mood disorder which would be aggravated if she were incarcerated. The lawyer sought a fine, saying that Tiers’ matter was not so “egregious” as to “necessitate throwing the book at her”.
Tiers could have been jailed up to a year or fined up to $100,000, or both, on a first conviction of acting as a medical practitioner without being licensed.
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