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Personal profile


Yves Aquino is a doctoral student at Macquarie University, with the Department of Philosophy and the Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics. He is being supervised by Prof Wendy Rogers and A/Prof Jean-Philippe Deranty. He also received Master of Research in Philosophy from the university.

Mr Aquino received his degrees in Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (2004) and Doctor of Medicine (2009) from the University of the Philippines. He also received a Master of Science in Bioethics under the Erasmus Mundus programme, which included partner universities KU Leuven (Belgium), Radbourd University (the Netherlands) and University of Padova (Italy).

Mr Aquino is also a licensed physician in the Philippines.

Doctoral thesis
Project summary: The popularity of cosmetic surgery reinforces the longstanding conflation of health and beauty norms. Cosmetic surgery has been successful in depicting “ugliness” as a form of disability, deformity or disease that requires treatment. Although there are numerous ethical critiques of cosmetic surgery, the phenomenon of framing ugliness as disease has not been well studied. The aim of my research is thus two-fold. The first part of my thesis investigates the various ways in which the concepts of health-disease and beauty-ugliness overlap. The second part offers an ethical critique of framing ugliness as pathology in reference to the goals of medicine.

Period of research: 01 January 2016 to 01 January 2019

Research interests

  • Medical ethics/bioethics
  • Philosophy of medicine
  • Asian cosmetic surgery
  • Feminist ethics

Education/Academic qualification

Bioethics, Master of Science, KU Leuven

Sep 2013Jun 2014

Medicine, Doctor, University of the Philippines Manila

Jun 200431 May 2009

Philosophy, Bachelor of Arts, University of the Philippines

Jun 2000Apr 2004

External positions

Contributor, MIMS Doctor

Feb 2014 → …

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2016 2017

"Big eye" surgery: the ethics of medicalizing Asian features

Aquino, Y. S. J., Jun 2017, In : Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. 38, 3, p. 213-225 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Plastic Surgery

Borrowed beauty? Understanding identity in Asian facial cosmetic surgery

Aquino, Y. S. J. & Steinkamp, N., 1 Sep 2016, In : Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. 19, 3, p. 431-441 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Plastic Surgery

Activities 2015 2018

  • 6 Oral presentation
  • 1 Organising a conference, workshop, ...

Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Ethics of Pathologising Ugliness

Yves Aquino (Organiser)
19 Mar 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Pathologising Ugliness: An ethical critique of intersectional prejudice in aesthetic medicine

Yves Aquino (Speaker)
24 Aug 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Practice Makes Perfect: How medicine promotes the pathologisation of ugliness

Yves Aquino (Speaker)
12 Oct 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Pathologising ugliness, normalising prejudice

Yves Aquino (Speaker)
1 Dec 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Asian cosmetic surgery: Could we use aesthetic standards to define pathology?

Yves Aquino (Speaker)
16 Oct 2016

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Press / Media

Philippines beyond cliches #5: Beauty

Yves Saint James Aquino


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Other