Is it permissible for a Muslim surgeon to perform cosmetic surgery on a patient?

Fatwa, posted 4.22.2010, from United Kingdom, in:
Religious Authority: 
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Fatwa Question or Essay Title: 
Is it permissible for a Muslim surgeon to perform cosmetic surgery on a patient?

The general ruling with regards to cosmetic surgery is that of impermissibility, for it involves mutilation of one's body (muthla) and changing the nature created by Allah (taghyeer khalq Allah). However, in genuine cases of extreme abnormality, there is a dispensation of permissibility, for necessity makes prohibition lawful. Based on this, it will not be permitted for a doctor or surgeon to perform surgery for purely cosmetic reasons and merely for the purpose of beautification. It will be unlawful for a Muslim surgeon to carry out surgery in order to merely make someone look better or to improve their appearance. However, if there is a genuine case of need, it will be permitted. Assisting another in sin and being a cause for someone else's sin is also sinful, especially when one's action becomes a direct cause for that sin being carried out. Thus, this job would not be Halal, with the income made on it being unlawful. However, if a surgeon's work comprises of many jobs (and also includes performing cosmetic surgery), then his complete earnings will not be considered Haram. In such cases, it will be permitted for the Muslim doctor to refer the patient to someone else saying that he/she cannot carry out the surgery; hence, you may visit some other specialist. Doctors have to be extra careful and vigilant in matters like these, because they can find themselves in many situations where it is easy for one to fall into sin.