Title Page -- Preamble  -- Preface  -- Synopsis -- Exposition -- Opening statement

Synopsis of Chalmers’ 3 part article

Western society, Chalmers explains, recognizes tattooing as barbarous and uncivilized. Though T&P has a long historical presence around the world, in the West it is forbidden by Levitcal injunction, contrary to Christian teaching about adornment, a sign of a pathological character, even a way to identify those with a criminal disposition. Its prevalence has, in spite of this, greatly increased, especially with the young, raising the question of our heritage not being handed down to the next generation. This is a concern for the older generation (policy makers) because they must assure the young carry on our Western heritage.

The risk to health from infection Chalmers argues, remains the most important argument to use to manage and control T&P even though the USA CDC concludes that there is no association of a greater risk from infection or other medical sequelae solely from T&P. The meaning of health risk must be broadened to include more than merely risk of infection. For example, new pre-screening regulations are needed to reduce the likelihood of negative psychological health effects, (e.g., dissatisfaction and regret), to reduce future negative societal health impacts (e.g., loss of job opportunities, for example, because of placement). A clients’ psychological health must also be known, to determine eligibility requirements, and for practitioners, given their risk-taking life styles, evidenced by having tattoos and piercings, as risk-takers therefore, they are likely to take risks with clients’ health and safety. It is crucial Chalmers argues to know who the practitioners are and why they are tattooing and piercing.

It is necessary therefore that T&P practitioners reduce these health risks through greater knowledge and improved practice of risk-reduction strategies. When these new rules are introduced to implement these strategies there may be hostility on the part of those who don’t agree with the policies and there may be a lack of initial  participation because of egotism. However, once in place and enforced these rules and regulations will be accepted over time.

Though described as self-regulating, Chalmers writes that the T&P industry has not met the basic tenets of self-regulation. Therefore, to reduce the various risks to health the industry must be managed and controlled by a single set of state-wide regulations administered and enforced by the State through effective implementation, education, training, and stringent enforcement. Only this type of management and control will reduce the incidence and therefore the prevalence of T&P. These steps will cause a reduction in the number of negative health outcomes, including the incidence of infection, the basic argument.  This complex set of rules and regulations will therefore reduce the popularity of T&P.