Body Modification Practitioner Arrested in North Bay, Ontario

As some of you may be aware, Andrew Niland — better known to many of you on IAM as xbolloxx — was arrested earlier this week in North Bay, Ontario, along with his girlfriend, Adrianne Carbone. Here’s the pertinent information from the North Bay Nugget, a local newspaper:

Andrew Niland, 29, was granted bail Thursday. However, he remains in jail until he posts a $10,000 no-cash bond and finds two people approved by court to be his sureties to ensure he follows his release conditions.

Niland and his girlfriend Adrianne Carbone, 21, were arrested last week and jointly charged with aggravated assault for performing a labia reduction on a woman Jan. 18 at his residence.

Niland is also charged with two other counts of aggravated assault for placing an implant in that same woman’s chest — used to create a shape under the skin — in September 2007 and performing another labia-reduction procedure last April.

Court heard there are exceptions to charges involving bodily harm when it comes to piercing which could drive the issue into Canada’s highest court for a decision on consensual body modifications.

Justice of the Peace James Bubba heard that the women involved had asked to have the procedures done to them.

If he’s released, Niland is not allowed to perform certain procedures — such as branding or scarring — although he will be allowed to continue piercing if the procedure is done to accommodate a piece of jewelry.

He’s also banned from having any weapons.

Niland is facing additional charges of possessing a prohibited weapon and careless storage of that weapon after police found a .22-calibre handgun at his residence.

The weapons charge is another matter altogether, and BME takes no stance on that aspect of the case. However, the fact remains that Andrew was arrested for allegedly performing procedures on consenting adults, and the allegations of “aggravated assault” are ludicrous. He was charged as such because, under Ontario law, a person cannot legally consent to the procedures Andrew performed (unless, of course, they were being performed by a doctor). But this has always been a debate central to body modification, and now that its profile is only getting higher, these are issues that are going to have be addressed with the public at large: How much control do we truly have over our own bodies? If a grown woman, of the age of majority, of sound mind, and of her own volition, wishes to have a private practitioner perform a labia reduction on her, or to implant a silicone star, or any other number of things we see frequently in this community, should the state be allowed intercede? And if so, where is the line drawn?

If the story told is accurate, then Andrew did not coerce these people into having these procedures done: They sought him out. He is only in custody right now because the law dictates that adults are not allowed to make certain choices about their bodies. This case has the potential to have massive repercussions on the body modification industry and on our extended community, and we hope that you’ll all follow it closely. BME, of course, will keep you all up to date as much as possible. We’re currently looking into ways for people to support Andrew and Adrianne, perhaps by way of a PayPal account to help with legal fees. We’ll keep you all posted.

EDIT: Andy’s paypal is linked to aniland@gmail.com. Please send paypal payments to that address in order to help him. I’m not linking a direct “donate” button for reasons mentioned in the comments below.

118 thoughts on “Body Modification Practitioner Arrested in North Bay, Ontario

  1. that makes me so angry. and it isnt the first time a body mod artist has been arrested for labia reduction either.
    and the fact that they are reffering to it as ‘aggrivated assault’ is the most ridiculous thing i have heard in a long time.

  2. It terrifies me that a good mod artist could get in so much legal trouble for preforming these procedures on consenting adults. I know that some places make certain tools (xylo, scalpels, dermal punches) illegal if not in the hands of a doctor… Would it be possible for a contract to be written up to exclude details of tools used, just listing the procedure? Would that have any legal standing?

  3. this is so infuriating. what place does the government have in legislating what we do with our own bodies?

  4. Found in the Criminal Code of Canada
    [ http://www.atucanada.ca/content_Resources_And_Publications/pdf/legislation/Criminal%20Code%20of%20Canada%20Assault%20Self%20Defence%20Definitions.pdf ]

    Aggravated assault
    268. (1) Every one commits an aggravated assault who wounds, maims,
    disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.

    Punishment
    (2) Every one who commits an aggravated assault is guilty of an indictable offence
    and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

    Excision
    (3) For greater certainty, in this section, “wounds” or “maims” includes to excise,
    infibulate or mutilate, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a
    person, except where
    (a) a surgical procedure is performed, by a person duly qualified by provincial law
    to practise medicine, for the benefit of the physical health of the person or for the
    purpose of that person having normal reproductive functions or normal sexual
    appearance or function; or
    (b) the person is at least eighteen years of age and there is no resulting bodily
    harm.

    Consent
    (4) For the purposes of this section and section 265, no consent to the excision,
    infibulation or mutilation, in whole or in part, of the labia majora, labia minora or
    clitoris of a person is valid, except in the cases described in paragraphs (3)(a) and
    (b).
    R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 268; 1997, c. 16, s. 5.

    I find it sickening not only that there is a specific reference to this particular modification, but that “no consent… is valid.”
    It’s taking away the right of an adult in a solid state of mind to make his or her own decisions.
    And, while perhaps understandable from a legal standpoint, it still appalls me.

  5. This is so totally gratuitous; a blatant and ridiculous incursion of the state in trying to regulate the body. It sucks that body mod practicioners are positioned/portrayed by the state in such a manner that their purpose of practicing seems to be defiance of the legal system and the medical profession, rather than performing requested services on consenting persons.

  6. Uh… The word “state” is often used as an equivalent term to both “nation-state” and “country.” I think that is how the word is being used in these comments.

  7. It’s the test case you’ve all been waiting for, Canadians. Get your shit together and get organized behind this case; the sooner the courts recognize such procedures as legitimate consensual works and not assault, the sooner practitioners can be operating further out in the open. It’s secrecy and back-alley operations that kill or harm seekers, not the idealized procedure itself. The sooner we can point out bad cutters without fearing we’re endangering the entire subculture the better.

    Or, y’know, you can just sit on the side and bitch some more. Go buy another protest T-shirt, the pussy-cutting shirt sure helped Bertrang out.

  8. Can the people Niland performed these procedures on refuse to testify and/or press charges? I understand that the courts are just tring to keep people safe, but at some point the state has to realize that these people aren’t children. I feel that if I can go out and pay taxes, own/rent a home,etc., then I obviously have the mental capabilities to decide whether I want someone (a doctor or some random person) doing a procedure on me.

    These types of situations just boggle my mind.

  9. Wow, this is very infuriating. I guess the government DOES have a right to say that we’re not competent enough to make sound decisions for ourselves. *cough* *cough* What a bunch of bullshit. I really hope this ends well or we need to get ready for the backlash.

  10. This is ridiculous. Don’t Rabbis perform circumcisions on non-consenting babies? The procedures seem pretty similar to me…

  11. andy, yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I got so steamed over this I swore like a pirate and almost barfed up my pancake breakfast. It even says that the ladies in question sought Andrew Niland out, so no, they are not little children being forced into doing something they didn’t want to do, they are grown women who wanted to change their bodies to their liking. This is my WTF of the day, week, month, whatever. I really wish there was more I could do, but I have no money to my name really, but the least I can do is hope to heck that Niland can go back to do what he is good at and mod my body how and when I choose to because it is mine and mine alone.

  12. wren, yes! exactly! just because some people don’t seem to understand something like body modification, they seem to think “Ooooooo! oooouch! people should not be able to do that to their bodies! it’s wrong!” BAH to them, BAH HUMBUG!

  13. I understand the point of it all and everything, but considering the amount of dirty old men with hep piercing underaged genitals and suchlike who get away with it on a daily basis, this pisses me off.

  14. This genuinely made me feel sick to my stomach. If a government can have a say in what a sound minded person does to their bodies, we really are in a totalitarian state.(state in the general term Dave).

    What that woman had done is really no different than women getting breast implants, or face lifts.

  15. :(
    Was wondering why he wasn’t replying on facebook :(

    He has dual citizenship – both canadian and irish

    wonder if there’s anything we can do here in ireland?

  16. About the gun thing….EVERYONE HAS A GUN IN NORTH BAY. Only like 6 of those people are actually registered. North Bay is gross.

  17. Damn.
    Obviously my thoughts go out to Andy and his girlfriend.
    It’s a wakeup call for our community though; for years the “reality bubble” that has been around the surgical community has enforced that we have every “right” to do the things we do. Rights, sadly, are very subjective and raising the banner of what rights you do and don’t think you have will not keep you from being arrested or prosecuted.

    “What the woman had done is really no different than women getting breast implants or facelifts”…

    Save that a person who is NOT a doctor is doing them. It doesn’t sound to me like the courts are making a judgment against the woman’s right to have it done- it sounds like they’re making a judgment that a non medical professional is doing it. As no specific laws exist on the books, they’re charging Andy with whatever they can to make a case. Is it RIGHT? That’s subjective. Obviously we feel it’s not.

    The province Andy is in clearly feels differently.

    All we can do is support Andy in any way that seems appropriate and as a culture be wary of advertising what lines we cross.

  18. 1. The so-called “complainant” is one of the “victim’s” mothers, although she is over twenty one. None of the people actually involved have complained.

    2. The “gun” is a collectible Luger. He’s not armed and dangerous.

    3. From the restrictions, this attack seems to include scarification.

    4. I hope that BME will be contributing significantly to Andrew’s legal defense.

  19. This was done without the consent or consultation of the provincial or federal health authorities, who are somewhat supportive of Andrew and other body artists at least off the record. This is small town cops working with a pissed off parent.

    Andrew can beat this but he has no assets to hire lawyers with. He needs help to win this.

  20. Well put Shawn.

    As the mod community has become more and more experimental, the line between aesthetic modification and serious surgical procedure has become blurred. I personally believe that a labia reduction is no different from and adult circumcision (actually I’m pretty sure the reduction is less dangerous) but who am I to decide?

    In many tribal cultures, the practitioners of modification and medicine are one in the same. The body mod community here in the US/Canada has taken a different approach. So where should the line be drawn? Should you be able to give breast implants or face lifts without a medical license? Does the state have the right to tell people not to give each other a dangerous surgical procedures at any level?

    Anyhoo, Good luck to you Andy. Hopefully you will be able to set a precedent with your victory.

  21. this is completely absurd. I am curious as to how the authorities became aware of the procedures that were done, if the client was entirely happy with the procedure, which i’m sure she was. I am not suggesting that the client was the one who informed the authorities, but i’m just interested as to how they became aware

  22. @neek

    read up a few comments. person who complained was one the mother of one of the girls.

  23. Shawn: “It doesn’t sound to me like the courts are making a judgment against the woman’s right to have it done- it sounds like they’re making a judgment that a non medical professional is doing it. As no specific laws exist on the books, they’re charging Andy with whatever they can to make a case. Is it RIGHT? That’s subjective. Obviously we feel it’s not.” Agreed.

    The situation is tricky, and I can understand that the authorities are not happy with “unqualified” people performing surgical procedures, but claiming that the charge is about “agravated assault” is absurd.
    But still, in most cases people get these kind of procedures from body modification practitioners, because qualified doctors refuse to do them or charge way too much for them.
    If a paypal account or something like it is set up, I’ll try to send some money, because not only is this an issue that involves the whole community, but it is especially hard for Andrew and his girlfriend.

  24. “What the woman had done is really no different than women getting breast implants or facelifts”

    Like Shawn said – the difference is obvious. These procedures are being done by doctors, in medical facilities, not some dude’s living room. Anyone who was performing boob jobs in ‘backyard’ surgeries would be arrested. Nobody would be outraged by that, not even here.

    The laws in question, regarding genital mutilation, are obviously there to protect women. In some cases, maybe something could be done without her consent, but there is nobody else there to confirm one way or the other? So then the mutilator gets away with it, because there is a law saying they can do it ‘with consent’. See what I’m saying? It is a hard one… I don’t think there should be a limit on what you can do to your own body, but when someone else is doing it to you, there have to be laws in place to protect others in different circumstances.

    Maybe the medical community needs to be re-educated to perform things like this – to redefine cosmetic surgery and its boundaries, rather than for the law to allow anybody with a scalpel to go around hacking people up. I don’t know what side I’m on here, because I tend not to agree to the attitude of ‘anyone should be allowed to perform irreversible surgery’ :/ Maybe some artists should put themselves through medical school and be pioneers instead of sitting around bitching that ‘the man’ is keeping them down.

  25. consent means consent – once a person says yes and signs a piece of paper to the effect it should be treated as such!

    this is ridiculous – i hope all ends well for him and changes the law :)

  26. My support to Andy.. I met him at Modprom, and he was at Badur’s the next day… He was a nice guy.
    I think the charges are a bit bogus because the person consented.. Aggravated assault isn’t consensual..
    The line is so blurred between what can and can’t be done though.. If it was a tongue split, there’d be totally different reactions…
    But, I guess, when you’re doing something on that blurry line.. the first thing you should think is “Don’t get caught”.. and unfortunately, he did.. It’s unlike Bertrang in a few ways, because he (Bertrang) was set up and offered a lot of money…
    It’s just shocking to me..
    And I agree with Shawn..

  27. Prosecuting people over consensual acts is fascism. This is not about “doctor territory” since it’s not just about labial surgery. It is also about implants and scarification. If it was about “doctor territory” he would have been charged with that, not with assault. I hope that Shawn and Rachel and the other better-off members of the surgical modification community and media will send a message to the authorities that we can’t be pushed around . . . by properly funding a legal team.

    How easy would it be for authorities to spend a few days reading BME and come up with a long list of people to prosecute in the same way? If Andy goes down, so could a lot of others.

  28. if bmezine can afford to spent thousands of dollars (more?) defending its corporate assets, I hope it will throw some money to this case. seems more important, no?

  29. “consent means consent – once a person says yes and signs a piece of paper to the effect it should be treated as such! ”

    I go back to reality bubble logic on that…

    If you sign a consent form saying you, as an adult, wish for me to shoot you in the leg- that doesn’t remove liability from me for doing it.

    Your desire to have it done + my willingness to DO it does not excuse us from the legality or illegality of the act of doing it.

    I’m TOTALLY in support of Andy here, guys… but the idealistic nonsense is getting a bit out of control.

    Here are the facts as I see it (and I’m in no way close to the case)
    Andy did a consensual procedure on an adult that may be “gray area legal”.
    It’s something some of us have done many many many times (next time you run into me at an event, ask to hear the “cops at Modcon4 story”- it’s a doozy. But you have to buy me a drink… no free rides here) without getting in trouble,

    Andy wasn’t so lucky and will likely face a pretty rough time.
    We, as a community should do what we can to help Andy out- that’s not up for debate. If you can contribute anything on Andy and his lady’s behalf- please do. I certainly will.

  30. @34
    “I’m TOTALLY in support of Andy here, guys…”

    Put your money where your mouth is. You’ve got millions of dollars in assets. Win an important precedent for this community! Go Shawn!

  31. I’m trying to keep an open mind.
    I agree 99% that people should be able to do whatever they want to their own bodies.
    BUT…
    what if the person is mentally ill and does not really understand what they are asking for?

  32. full support to Andy and his partner! hopefully this ‘test case’ can lead the way to their freedom and steps foward for the comunity as a whole.

    i dont however agree that its a ‘right’ at all. informed consent is different from consent. at this time, the powers above have dubbed us as unable to ever give informed consent of such procedures. therefore its ends up being no different to an underage person giving ‘consent’ for sex. the law states that informed consent is not possible until 16 (age of sexual consent here in NZ). not saying the authorities always get it right by any means..

    Personally i think there should be a more active authority which sets guidelines for each procedure, with proper training and certification. this means some procedures would be in the realm of surgeon only and others would be able to be carried out, legally, by licensed mod practitioners who have undergone training and certification…

    now the big question, how do we get there? so everyone can be happy that potential harm has been minimised with minimal losses of ‘personal freedoms’.

  33. As somebody else pointed out, those laws appear to be in place to protect women from genuine FGM, which is a real problem as far as backyard practitioners go. I imagine a lot of women subjected to FGM would be either pressured into saying they’d given consent, or ‘brainwashed’ (forgive the loaded term) into believing they don’t want/need/deserve sexual functionality anyway.

    Not that this excuses what’s happening here, of course.

  34. I’m ready to donate as soon as I find out where to do it. I REALLY hope BME has some funds to support Andy and his girlfriend.

  35. I’m not speaking on Rachel/BME’s behalf when I say the following:
    If you REALLY hope that BME has some funds to support Andy and his girlfriend, make sure you’re supporting BMEShop. the income that the shop brings in from selling shirts, jewelry, books, et all… that is what funds things like helping out our own.

    We can’t just lay it on Rachel to come in and save the day if we’re not helping her out.

  36. “consent means consent – once a person says yes and signs a piece of paper to the effect it should be treated as such!”

    I’m not in favor of this ruling, but I have to disagree with the logic above.

    If someone had enough physical/mental power over someone to perform a genital modification on them without their consent, it can be assumed that they would also have enough power to force them to sign a consent form against their will.

    I’m not really sure what the answer is here, but it seems like it’s more of an issue of practicing medicine without a license than any kind of assault.

  37. Is there somewhere we can contribute to Andy, such as a Paypal account? I could only contribute a minimal amount, but even if 1000 people contribute a few dollars each, that’s a massive difference. Not just IAMers, but those of us who have an interest in the bod mod community but are anti-IAM are just as likely to contribute :)

  38. #40 Sarah – Just reading the quoted part of the definition of aggravated assault that “the sky conspires to swallow me” posted in #4 way upthread, I agree that this seems to be about the lack of license.

    The quoted bit of law says that consent is possible for labiaplasty/etc if the person is over 18, right there in section 3(b), I don’t read this as saying women can never have it done. It does say the procedure needs to “result in no bodily harm” but if the 18+ woman is satisfied, it’s okay. It’s not a case of “you can’t ever have female genital alteration.”

    Rather, the issue would be in section 3(a), with the bit about the “person duly qualified by provincial law
    to practise medicine.”

    For what it’s worth, in the US you can get labia reductions or sculpting done by actual board-qualified plastic surgeons if you want, it’s not a prohibited thing as far as I know, just more along the line of breast implants, which someone already posted upthread aren’t generally performed in private homes. I’m sure it does cost $$$, of course. Caveat, I don’t know how they would take it if you wanted some really “strange” sculpting or parts removed to be very different from the standard model they assume is the feminine ideal.

    It’s an interesting case, perhaps it will cause some discussion about where lines should be drawn, etc.

    Also I do wonder if the case would be different with only the implant, that would make it certain that concerns with FGM aren’t blurring anything.

    Speaking of FGM though, I had cause to read a WHO pamphlet about it recently, and the pamphlet actually mentioned the need to be careful in definitions as some of the definitions might including voluntary piercing (not even sculpting, just piercing) and the authors did not want to make it seem they prohibit such voluntary piercing.

  39. almaxaquotal : Plastic surgeons do know about labia reductions. You can get any mods done by plastic surgeons really. If they are not familiar with it, they could do a little research about it and then do it. (side note: I was watching an episode of Dr.90210 where this woman wanted a diamond partially implanted into her wrist so that the bottom half of the diamond would be under her skin and the top half would be above her skin and therefore visible. But the doctor said no since it would probably fall out)

  40. Here is the problem as I see it. I have no way to link a paypal fund from here because the people attacking BME will report it and make claims that it’s being used to sell pornography so I can’t link a paypal account from here.

    If I link to it, it will get closed and the funds confiscated, like my current paypal account which has BME legal funds frozen and unavailable.

    I can tell the attacks on BME are already been fired up because it’s being claimed that BME shouldn’t have sponsored APTPI last month but instead should have predicted Andy’s arrest and prepared for it. Unlike the people making these ridiculous claims, they don’t contribute to any legal defense funds. BME has it’s own bills, as well as legal bills that are constantly being increased by these people.

    Several of us have already been working on plans to help Andy and due to his GF not being able to visit him until this up coming week, we haven’t been able to get his information from him. As I said, several of his close friends are helping this. We are trying to get him out on bail. Just because every move isn’t posted here, doesn’t mean we’re not working on it.

    I’m trying to figure out a solution that won’t risk the donations to him. I can’t host the fund raising options personally or via BME because I don’t want to risk them getting taken. If anyone has any other ideas. Please let me know.

  41. Several degrees of separation perhaps? Such as linking to a blog, which will link to another blog which states it has no affiliation with BMEzine.com? From there the PayPal information can be given out freely.

    That’s only a quick suggestion and may be wrought with problems but I think you need to utilise the buzz surrounding this ModBlog posting and come up with something.

    I’ll gladly start a blog to post the Paypal information because everyone knows I dislike what Rachel has done to BME and that I have no affiliation to BME or IAM other than my sometimes antagonistic postings on ModBlog.

  42. Jon: That’s what I was thinking. We’re trying to get Andy’s paypal info so it can go directly to him. We’ll definitely need to put up a separate site/blog for him.

    Thanks for disliking me but still realizing that this has nothing to do with me other than trying to help a member of our community.

  43. Rachel: Shush, it’s not that I dislike you at all. I’m sure you’re a nice person! I just didn’t like what happened with BME, hence I’m not part of it any more. Just thought I’d clarify that. Maybe I’m getting less angry in my old age :S

  44. how did the police even find out that he did these procedures on people? its not like these women were going around to police stations and courthouses flashing their labia at everyone.

    and where exactly do you draw the line and define something as “assault” if its consensual? what about BDSM and stuff like that that is performed by consenting adults in the privacy of their own home? it may be what some people consider “violent” but it can’t be “assault” unless someone is either being forced into it or they somehow decide to press charges. of course, i’m also not from Canada so maybe they do things differently up there.

  45. Jessorz: It’s been mentioned a few times. Allegedly, the parent of someone who had a procedure done called the police despite their daughter being 21 (or over).

  46. IIRC, that law was enacted to outlaw female circumcision and to give victims of that practice legal recourse.

    That said, it is completely absurd to prosecute someone who performed an entirely different procedure on an informed, consenting adult.

  47. Whatever happened to Todd Bertrang anyway? I mean other than terrible shit in general. It’s been years since I’ve seen anyone mention his name.

  48. So…they’re not charging for practicing medicine even though it’s a procedure offered by doctors, but charging for aggravated assault because there isn’t a legal way to consent to such procedures outside of a doctors office? Interesting.

    We should find a good (possibly modified?) lawyer to defend him for “free” and then donate whatever we can gather for the lawyer. Any lawyers want to help and have a paypal account set up in their name? haha

  49. Can’t believe this!! How in the world is it possible that society allow bodymods, if the government makes it illegal??

    Just insane, I hope Andrew and his girlfriend will be done with this bullsh*t ASAP.

    Seems like the world still isn’t ready for bodymods…

    too bad :(

  50. I was going all over New York a few years ago when Suffolk County was trying to ban a number of procedures, and to be perfectly blunt piercers in NYC told me that they were glad that all kinds of procedures were being banned in Suffolk because then they would have to travel to NYC to get their mods ‘like they should’.

    What few people realize is that once a law is approved anywhere in the US it can be adopted/adapted anywhere else in the US without the need for additional public review. Once a poorly conceived law is on the books it can spread like a virus, it’s not until people are locked up that the legislation raises serious concern from the body arts community.

    Last I heard New York State has every intention of banning any procedure that can reasonably be considered a medical procedure (by their judgment, not yours), they already banned tongue splitting some years ago (even when performed by a DR.) and when I confronted an advanced NYC piercer named Brian ______ (last name withheld but I had issued him a fancy certificate of appreciation based on his ability) his total lack of concern and verbal response was essentially “They banned drugs, that didn’t stop them from being available”. One of the big differences between illicit drug sales and illicit body modifications is “Mr. Big” can’t pay some stupid kid a few bucks or with a tube of Resistol glue (shoe glue for the shoeless) for delivering illicit goods while the kingpin is protected.

    The body modification community as a whole is not interested in being active in shaping the legislative process, and from what I’ve seen the medical community prefers to not do any fact checking before protecting their financial interests; for example the PACE report showed that 92% of reported piercing complications were of the ear and navel, and they were using that report as proof that all body piercings other than ear and navel should be banned- and you know what, I WAS THE ONLY PERSON THERE WHO POINTED THIS OUT! The most common rebuttal from local body artists was essentially that all this is covered by “freedom of speech” clueless to the fact that the US Supreme court already ruled that piercing is not protected by freedom of speech but tattooing is (under certain circumstances).

    This is clearly a case of too little too late; to leave the creation of this kind of legislation to the failing US medical community is very foolish, as they can not be trusted to represent any interests other than their own. Their fact checking seemed limited to legal research to learn what they might be able to get away with banning, not what the real risks were, or how they could be reduced. When it was suggested that perhaps they should make piercing complications a reportable medical event for the purpose of tracking if there is a real problem the Suffolk County Board of Health laughed out loud!

    I noticed a lot of you folks missed this point in your replies but the fact is “consent can’t be given for an illegal act”, the diligent thing to do is fight proposed legislation before it gets on the books. If any of you think fighting a body arts war of attrition against the government is the way to go let me remind you that they are the overwhelming majority and are using your tax money against you- civil disobedience is usually a losing cause and is always far more expensive than being proactive.

    Fighting the legislators is very time consuming and expensive (often you need to hire a lawyer before they will take you seriously), and the people ‘saved’ mostly won’t admit that you helped them, and certainly will never thank you; in fact the overall mood will be “they couldn’t pass those laws anyway”.

    My personal opinion is that some of what some “piercers” do is not body piercing but body sculpting and that instead of banning such advanced procedures a higher level of certification should be created as I think piercers should initially be restricted to the piercings that don’t require specialized tools, tricky placement or potentially reduced success; I feel that these advanced procedures are typically best reserved for those who have already made a significant commitment to the body arts lifestyle.

    My assessment is that this is a profession where those who profit the most from “edge” procedures typically spend all their discretionary income on themselves, often on expensive petrol fueled toys (why is this?) this kind of possessive posturing seems very anti-modern primitive to my way of thinking. The solution of course would be to pool funds to fight mal conceived fledgling legislation wherever it surfaces, but that’s when everyone claims it’s not that important (A.K.A. I don’t have the money). All too often we know what the best answer to our problem is, but it’s not what we want to hear so we destructively winnie it down into something (more comfortable but) less durable.

  51. I was thinking about this the other day. My grandfather was an old-minded italian inmigrant so my father was pretty square-minded as well, and I can’t understand how so many people agree to the idea that progress always involve change and that any change that’s harmless to the rest and, specially if positive for one’s self, is accepted and even celebrated. Though if it involves body modification, either if taken as a way of life or just for the joy of decorating the body, it’s all wrong on the Devil’s hands have to be on it.
    So I saw we gather and prosecute the non-modified, since we’re going to hell either way!
    Well, getting serious again, if you learn to think by yourself and shape your mind the way you want to, regardless of what the society states is the “right” way to move, then why would anyone with a bit of common sense expect this idea or way of life not to be externalized?
    Independence is being dependant of yourself and, as Richard Bach’s Illusions states, responsible is Able to Respond, able to answer for the way we choose to live…
    As long as justice takes over a person’s will, even if it is in such a specific case, we can’t expect things to be fair…
    Because of where I live, I’m used to being subject of many jokes and discussions so this really upsets me. A real criminal should be the one that tries to tell others how to live their lives when they’re doing what they want to their own selves…
    I think I wrote too much know and am not sure if it all makes sense
    Cheers to fairness over this so called justice

  52. What I’d like to know is how the mother of one of the “complainants” found out about such a heavy genital mod?

  53. is that shirt still in the BMEshop? if they outlaw pussy cutting only outlaws will cut pussy. or something to that effect.

  54. Hearts to Andy…….. anyone who has met him knows he is a fine piercer and an amazing person in general <3333 he does not deserve this…… stupid canada

  55. @64 The shirt was available in the final run designs, but it seems to be gone now. I wear mine all the time — and I usually end up somewhere totally inappropriate. Someday I’m gonna end up with kids and accidentally wear it to parent-teacher conferences.

  56. At me #63: exactly what I was thinking! like seriously how? did she hike up her kids skirt just to take a peek at her pussy? hhuummm . . .

    Last night I was thinking about this issue, then I remembered hearing about a procedure years ago preformed on women (mostly older ladies, or ladies who have had children) to reduce the labia lips from saggy to not so saggy. I remember that it was done in a plastic surgeons office. Thinking of that just made me go “Huh . . . how interesting . . . “

  57. I told you all this was going to happen. I’ve been saying it for 15 years. And now it really begins.

    There’s a pretty simple way to sidestep this kind of thing and (at least in the US and Canada) have it be legally a medical procedure.

    Unfortunately the vast majority of practitioners are too lazy and/or stupid to do it.

    It’s going to be an awesome show though, so thanks to everyone in advance for your jail sentences. More than a few of us find them entertaining.

  58. And wait, hasnt anyone asked the precious APP for help? Isn’t this *precisely* the sort of thing they should be involving themselves with? Is there enough money after all the cocaine and vodka from the convention to cover this poor guy’s bail?

    Or is the APP really actually completely useless, as every last one of it’s progenitors has been claiming for years?

  59. the APP is about piercings they are against implants(as stated in modify the movie) and in my hardly informed opinion probably wouldent even tounch on surgical mods

  60. I also know Andy really well. he is amazing at what he does and it makes me so upset that this is happening. This just taking place a few months after he did a wonderful job pointing my ears. I hope everything works out for him and he gets all the peer support he needs.

  61. “as stated in modify the movie”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Whoops.

  62. So really what youre saying is yeah, they are useless.

    Go, APP. Seriously. Seriously, go. Away. Now. You’re done.

  63. Should this be any concern for practitioners in the States? I’m 19 years old and I’ve been piercing in a shop for 3 years now. I’ve just recently starting scarification and branding and in the future I would like to learn more surgical modification. How are these things going to affect people like me?

  64. So if someone doesn’t setup a PayPal account to help out soon, I’ll set one up. This is ridiculous!

  65. Jim-
    Saying “I told you this would happen” is like prognosticating “you will end up dating a young Jewish girl” and claiming to be a prophet when it eventually happens. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict the inevitable, my friend. Wrenching your arm out of socket patting yourself on the back isn’t a modification. (though I’m sure there are SOME scene points for having that mod)

    Otherwise… I agree.
    I might be in town this weekend… wanna have a drink?

  66. And no offense Benjamin…
    but I doubt most people would give money to a well meaning stranger* on the internet who’s set up a paypal account for donations…. if that worked… I’d be setting up one to buy a nice necklace.

    *While I’m not implying you are yourself strange… I doubt people who don’t know you would be entirely trusting of your benevolent attempts at helping.

  67. @31: “These procedures are being done by doctors, in medical facilities, not some dude’s living room. Anyone who was performing boob jobs in ‘backyard’ surgeries would be arrested. Nobody would be outraged by that, not even here.”

    Don’t make universal statements. I am continually offended and outraged by the monopoly on “medicine” which is imposed forcefully by the government. I don’t care if someone is not “medically licensed,” as long as that individual doesn’t defraud his/her customers by claiming s/he is. If I want to hire my neighbor to remove my appendix, that’s my choice, and the government has no business pointing guns and telling me who I can and cannot trust to perform medicine on me. The only way they have business there is if my neighbor was lying to me about his qualifications (or lack thereof).

    As an adult, I own my body, and have every right to entrust its care to whomever I deem worthy of that trust.

  68. Regarding consent…

    While some might be coerced into signing a consent form, and that should certainly be dealt with (severely), it’s up to the government to prove that’s what happened.

    Innocent until proven guilty, eh?

    Arresting this man and then demanding that he defend himself, at great personal and financial expense, presumes that he is guilty. If the government believes someone was coerced into consenting, let them make that case, instead of presuming guilt and demanding that the accused jump through hoops for their amusement.

  69. Shawn:

    “Saying “I told you this would happen” is like prognosticating “you will end up dating a young Jewish girl” and claiming to be a prophet when it eventually happens. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict the inevitable, my friend. Wrenching your arm out of socket patting yourself on the back isn’t a modification.”

    On the contrary: I’m wretching about it.

    The difference between when I was trumpeting it all over the place (and by the way, as I recall, for at least a decade I was the only one doing it publicly) I actually didn’t really want it to happen. Now I’m wretching as a direct result of having been right, but having an unexpectedly jolly time watching it start.

    I didn’t know how badly I wanted to be right. Isn’t that weird? I suppose I’m giving the entire community the treatment by way of placing them as surrogates for Shannon. As the heavy mod scene is imprisoned and withers away, I can imagine its creator doing the same.

    Is there a word that means “delightful vomit”? That’s where my head is.

    There was nothing prophetic about me saying it all those years by the way. Anyone with a braincell functioning new it would happen. So that’s what, four people including you and me?

    And absolutely. Its on me.

  70. The “practicing medicine without a license” argument is hard to hold up over 3-d art implants. Since no doctors are performing these modifications, it is a grey area at best and the techniques and materials used would be the only true case for it. However, in the case of a labia reduction, a procedure that is performed by MD’s it’s a little more black and white, much like a non-MD performing breast implants out of a hotel room.

    IMHO, sane adults should be able to do what they please to there bodies whether that be taking drugs, having sex for money or cutting off a limb. Unfortunately, in the “real world” there are laws set to protect people from themselves. If we want to see less of these type arrest we need to fight laws that infringe on what should be our “god given” rights over our own bodies.

    My thoughts are with Andy and his girlfriend and I sincerely hope the government does not decide to make an example of him.

  71. Is it just more acceptable to get breast implants (or lipo) rather than take a different initiative and change/nullify/modify the female body outside societies “norm”?
    A doctor won’t give you horns but they have no problem rearanging a face like Ms Potatohead to conform to a Hollywood ideal.
    You can make an informed decision to have major cosmetic surgery, even tho some women have died during or after such proceedures, but you can’t make an informed decision to have your labia trimmed or removed by a doctor?

    Doctors need to rethink things.
    Until people can talk openly with doctors about proceedures without being stigmatized/judged then people will go to cutters.

  72. That’s the point YOU CAN have a labia reduction done by a doctor. It’s actually a fairly common procedure, even if it’s not as well known as the more visible cosmetic surgery.

  73. Absolutely NO disrespect to Andy and his gf. I use the word “cutter” as meaning a non-doctor performing the proceedure outside a clinic. Seems the medicos are trying to drive out midwives as well.
    I’m rooting for Andy and his gf and hope they aren’t used as some sort of example and exploited…tho I fear the worst for them and the body mod community at large.

  74. It just looks like history repeating itself again. Trying to destroy the ideals of being an individual? When has anyone been truly allowed to tell us what to do? The more you tell people not to do something the more they well? Whats next using a piercing needle will be classed as assualt? due to he trauma the tissue may incur?

    I would love to just state the greatest quote modders have “No one should dictate to me what i can and can not do to my body” Bear

    In the end all this is going to do is drive the industry underground.

    i truly hope this is all resolved without destroying the industry or dividing it.

    Cheers Dion

    Good luck Andrew & Adrianne

  75. Sean, I know they can “tidy” things up down there. I was thinking more along the lines of a labial removal.

    I can see your point exactly about this particular proceedure. It’s not one that’s been driven underground and could have been done by a doctor. The question is personal choice. Of wanting it done outside a clinical setting.
    People need to take more responsibility for themselves I guess. But in a “sue sue sue” society…I dunno. Seems like every product has absolutely no-brainer warnings these days because people are spoon-fed, ass-wiped, and poised to sue should anything happen whatsoever.
    If people won’t take personal responsibility will the powers-that-be give them any in the future? Will we have rights to ourselves?

    Man what a can of worms opened…

  76. The thing is, if someone makes the choice to have a procedure done by a non-medical professional, and things go awry, it is the medical community that ends up taking responsibility for the client turned patient. Especially in a place like Canada with universal healthcare, that’s a pretty costly risk.

    That being said, I think there is a place for some kind of official certification giving body modification practitioners the right to perform certain surgical procedures without a medical licence, and releasing them from any legal ramifications with proof of informed consent from the client. In the absence of such a thing, this is what we get – subjective case-by-case convictions with disproportionate charges.

    As riled up by this as I am, I can’t help but see both sides of the law as it stands. I only hope that whoever hears this case realizes how ridiculous it is and lets everyone get on with their lives.

  77. The APP is not “against” implants etc. They just have no official opinion on it. They choose not to extend themselves beyond piercing, and I (personally) think that considering the goals of the association, that is reasonable.

    I think one of the main issues here is that yes, because labia reduction is a procedure that doctors perform, doing it without a medical license would be “practicing medicine without a license “….Many have responded with the need to find doctors willing to learn how to do implants and etc. so we can have these things done legally. But seriously? How many of you really want a doctor to do that for you? The woman in question COULD have gone to a doctor. She didn’t. She wanted a mod. practitioner to do the work. And I’m sure many of us would too. There is more to any modification that the end result, and every person here knows that.

    But overall, I think this case is very relevant to all of us, as a community, because yes, laws are generally in place with good intentions, but when they allow for persecution of minorities (in this case, just those with a less popular aesthetic) that needs to be recognized and changed. Societies grow and change, and the laws need to reflect those changes. So I can only hope that Andy’s case brings more light to the situation, and inspires some action, and perhaps helps more people realize the current unfortunate state of many of the laws (or lack there off) that apply to body arts. I know many of the folks at the core of BME have felt the bad end of this many times, but it seems relatively easy to be unaware of the situation if you aren’t involved in the industry in some way. And, as many have said, I hope that we can figure out a way for us to be able to contribute to the cause!

  78. I agree with Shawn Porter.

    I would like to add that I love a well hung woman. Big wet meaty beef curtains for me! Naturally I don’t think wanting a woman to look like she’s shop lifting a fruit bat up her love box gives me any rights as to legislating anything at all. I’m JUST SAYING!

  79. Allowing a non-medical professional to perform surgery like this just gives cutters the opportunity to do the same, cause real damage and then give the whole bodymod community a bad name.
    Making it illegal just prevents the non-medical professional from potentially killing someone.
    Just as you argue that bodymod professionals should do more than just pierce and scar, where do you draw the line? Labiaplasty? Finger reattachments? Amputations? Nose jobs?
    So there you go- we need a ‘line’ and here it is. Cross it, and you’re in jail.

  80. “Trying to destroy the ideals of being an individual?”

    I’m sorry sweetheart, but if you’re not an individual without slicing off someone’s labia, then you still won’t be even if you do.

    It’s the ancient reasoning, which clearly predates almost everyone here, and it used to reference piercing, like this:

    “If you’re getting pierced to be interesting, don’t bother. If you weren’t interesting before you got pierced, you won’t be interesting after either”.

  81. “The APP is not “against” implants etc. They just have no official opinion on it. They choose not to extend themselves beyond piercing, and I (personally) think that considering the goals of the association, that is reasonable.”

    Goals? What goals?

  82. The government has an obligation to set forth rules to protect it’s populace.
    The populace has an obligation to tell the government when they feel that the protection have overextended itself and is encroaching on it’s rights.

    Regardless of where your fealty lies- The State, The Union, The Crown, The People… you have a right and a duty to say “you know what… I appreciate that you’re trying to protect us, but this time you’ve gone too far”.

    Is Andy’s situation that?

    A government going to far?

    I think so, yes.

    But to say I’m biased is an understatement. Regardless of what your t-shirt MAY tell you, being modified does NOT MAKE YOU A CULTURAL REVOLUTIONARY. It makes you someone with a tattoo, a piercing, scars, implants…. which is amazing. There are so many of us now that modification is just another facet of our lives. I’ve been saying for a decade “do NOT be defined by your modifications”…. be proud of them yes. But if this is all that makes you an individual- like Jim said… you’re still not.

    I don’t think Andrew did anything that needs government intrusion.. and I’m sure the money the Crown is spending to prosecute him could be MUCH better spent on things that would ACTUALLY make society safer.

    Like I said above- we need to make that point in any way we can. Telling those in charge that yes- this stuff comes with risk… but if you seriously think that Andy Niland is more dangerous to the citizens of North Bay than heroin, crack, teenage pregnancy and people who end up sleeping in gutters because money that COULD be used to house them is being used to prosecute Andy…

    Silliness.

  83. “It makes you someone with a tattoo, a piercing, scars, implants…. which is amazing.”

    eh, not anymore. In fact now that I think of it, really not ever, and thats the problem.

    This community was built with the assumption that not only did it have a perfect right to do what it does (which I wholeheartedly support), but also that what it was doing was somehow “mystical” or “revolutionary” or “evolutionary”, all of which are lies.

    As someone much more experienced in the field than me said once: “Jesus, it’s just a fucking piercing. You didn’t just go to the moon”.

  84. how would anyone know he was doing it? much less at his home?(assuming he has a clean room for such procedures)

  85. I added Andy’s paypal info to the entry above. If you’d like to contribute to him directly, please do so via paypal.

  86. Labia reduction is a Felony in the state of Illinois. Doctors can only perform it if it is medically necessary. This makes it illegal for doctors to even do it for aesthetic reasons.

    And can we start to say that Andy allegedly did these things. Please. Let us not help to convict him.

  87. A few things come to mind upon reading all of this.
    I don’t know Andy that well, but I know enough to respect him and what he believes in. He holds high standards and, as mentioned, has worked with the local health unit. I will do what I can to help out and support a fellow piercer.
    He’s one of the very very few APP members in Canada (I could probably count them all on two hands). I know the APP has no public opinion on mods outside of piercing, since that’s their main concern. But I sincerely hope that someone associated is considering all of this heavily and are willing to help out someone who holds true to their ideals and standards, even if they do so privately so as not to show public support for cutting, etc.
    I sure as hell hope the “victims” in question are showing some support as well. Even if it’s just press. It would certainly be sad to see someone who seeks out this kind of heavy mod turn their back on the ones who were able to provide it. Also it would throw a nice big monkey wrench in the case against.
    Makes me wish the idea of the Church Of Body Modification hadn’t have gone up in smoke here in Canada. I don’t know how much they’d have actually been able to help, but even the sense of community would be a comfort I’m sure.
    And if I may play devils advocate here, I wonder how different this whole case would be if it were an older man having a nullification proceedure done on him and it was his “concerned children” who were pressing charges. A lot different I bet. I don’t know a lot about womens civil liberties, but I bet they could really come into play here. Though to who’s advantage I wonder.
    And Shawn, nothing is more dangerous than pregnant North Bay teens!

  88. It really isn’t appropriate for people to be calling for the APP to support Andy. What he allegedly did is OUTSIDE their scope and just because he’s a piercer, doesn’t mean they should come out and support him publicly for this specific procedure.

  89. You make a valid point, Rachel. And I’m not trying to say it’s their responsibility. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them helping him out if they can. Andy really pulls for them and what they stand for. I’m not so much ‘calling for them to support’ as I am just saying it would be nice of them to do what they can for one of their biggest Canadian advocates. And as I mentioned, private, rather than public help might actually be in their better interests if they were to help out. No one said they should support the procedure.

  90. Surely if the client refuses to testify then the case against Andrew is going to struggle, I have to agree with yttrx – this sort of campaign against body modification was going to happen, the same way it did with tongie splitting. Remember Andrew is not just been charged over the labia reduction incidents. There’s two other counts of aggravated assault for placing an implant under skin

  91. @piercingrob the Church of Body Modification is alive and well in Canada. There was a very recent restructuring that has left Chris Carter as President along with a 4 member board, including one Russ Foxx of Vancouver (formerly of the Barrie/Alliston, On) area.

    As for the Church getting involved? If the people involved were members of the Church then they may help, but I haven’t heard either way if they are or are not members.

  92. If #4′s quote of the law is accurate and to-date, the law has *no* grounds for assault charges. Practicing medicine without a license *maybe*, though only truly if the practitioner misrepresented his qualifications (though I suppose it’s best not to bring this up even, as giving the prosecution more rope is never good)
    “Excision
    (3) For greater certainty, in this section, “wounds” or “maims” includes to excise,
    infibulate or mutilate, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a
    person, except where
    (a) a surgical procedure is performed, by a person duly qualified by provincial law
    to practise medicine, for the benefit of the physical health of the person or for the
    purpose of that person having normal reproductive functions or normal sexual
    appearance or function; or
    (b) the person is at least eighteen years of age and there is no resulting bodily
    harm.

    Consent
    (4) For the purposes of this section and section 265, no consent to the excision,
    infibulation or mutilation, in whole or in part, of the labia majora, labia minora or
    clitoris of a person is valid, except in the cases described in paragraphs (3)(a) and
    (b).”
    This states that consent is not valid **EXCEPT** in the cases described above. Now, obviously, (3)(a) is out, but (3)(b) may well not be. So long as the client was 18, and there is no resulting bodily harm, consent IS VALID.
    Now, the tricky part may well be providing proof that there is no resulting bodily harm. A medical expert witness may be required. I would highly recommend seeking out a mod-friendly gyn, if one could be found. The prosecution, unfortunately, will likely have little difficulty finding a board-certified plastic surgeon with a vested personal interest in cornering the market on labiaplasty, but if the job was done clean then even that theoretical asshole will have trouble finding fault with the procedure.
    Provided adequate representation and a little luck with selecting expert witnesses, this could well be an open & shut case, should the prosecution fail to bring forward alternate charges.

  93. This is what happened, although I have to be a little bit vague with some details. I’m the co-accused, so I don’t want to get Andy or I in any more trouble.
    A 24 year old, female asked Andy to perform a labia reduction. She had been thinking of getting this done for a while, as would be expected. She had researched ways in which a cosmetic surgeon would go about doing the procedure, as well as cost for it, so it’s not like she didn’t think of any alternatives. She chose Andy because he had done piercings and implants on her before and they’d known each other for a few years – Trust had already been built and maintained.
    On January 18th, she came over to our apartment, bringing along her cousin, and a mutual friend. The procedure itself went smoothly, there were no complications, and once everything was done, it looked perfect. On the 19th, the mutual friend, decided for some idiotic reason, to tell her mother about what had happened the previous night. Her mother freaked, out of concern for the “victim’s” healh, and called the health board, which led to a police investigation. Andy and I were arrested on Wednesday, 21st, around 6:30pm, and they searched our apartment the morning after. On Friday morning, I was released on $500 bail, with a condition that I’m not allowed to speak directly or indirectly to the “victim.” Andy was held until until Monday, for further investigation. From what I’ve heard, the woman who had this done was told to go see a doctor, to be sure everything was alright, and there was no infection. Doctor’s were apparently impressed with how good everything looked. Unfortunately, that comes from someone who likes to twist stories, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true.
    Right now, any of Andy’s court appearances have just been trying to find him a surety. He is eligible to be released, but what they’re asking for his conditions would be forcing Andy out of the city, as well as denying him a job. They want him to have two sureties with a combined pledge of $10,000 and one of the sureties has to live with him. They say he is not allowed to remove any tissue from the body, but he would be allowed to pierce, so long as it’s to accomodate a piece of jewelry….Hmmmm….So, basically, the second he does a piercing, they could bring him back in.
    Good news is that he has a lawyer who’s going to help him be released. From what Andy’s told me, they’re going to try to negotiate his bail conditions. We’re hoping for a court date next week. If we don’t get one then, he has his hearing on the 24th. Same day as my trial.
    I’m hoping that this works out in favour of the body mod community. I hope people recognize that we’re not a bunch of idiots, and that obviously people wouldn’t go to someone who didn’t know what they were doing.
    As for the firearm charges, I don’t really know what to say…I didn’t have a problem with him owning a gun, I just wish it had been registered and stored properly.
    If anyone has any questions, my IAM is Intheflesh1988, or my email address is chox_a_boklates@hotmail.com. Our computers were taken in the search, so I only get to go online every so often, but I’ll do my best to reply to anyone’s questions/concerns.
    Also, a HUGE thanks to everyone who’s helping out, and supporting Andy and I. It’s sincerely appreciated by the both of us.
    Cheers!

  94. sad … really sad . I know that we are all concerned by this topic …but just to let you know that this case is not the only one so far . There is a guy in jail since 4 months in japan for practicing body modification and his shop (in osaka) has been shut down . In France a guy called Toro (yes this Toro) is facing jail and he’s pursued by the french government for a suspension done for a TV show 3 years ago on an under age guy (4 months from is 18′th birthday, the legal age in france) with his mother’s consentment … and I have been in court since two years (and i won) in France, for a skar I did on a under age guy who came to me with a false mother . The guy who is now 19 is the one who prosecuted me !!! since I won the first time he took the case to appeal . The result will triger a case law for the whole of Europe …
    and so on… since I’m sure thats not the only cases in the world .

    anybody want my paypal accoumpt ?! haha !

  95. The body of law is bigger than us. The medical profession is bigger than us. What do you think is going to happen when we start stepping on their toes by performing medical procedures in our living rooms? Of course they are going to come down on us! Have WE spent years in school and training or received certification that we are licensed by institutions to do those things? NO! Are you allowed to design and build a house yourself in most cities without the proper approval in various steps and architects seeing that the plans are structurally safe? Are you allowed to practice dentistry without getting your license? Are you allowed to drive without a license? No and there are repercussions for all of that including performing medical procedures. Society has drawn lines and we act surprised that it is upset when we cross them. It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual if it is a procedure that is illegal for anyone but licensed medical practitioners to perform. Society doesn’t let suicidal people kill themselves. Suicide is consensual.
    It’s too bad that he is a nice guy who is in jail but hindsight clearly shows that it was a poor choice on his part. Is it really so surprising he is in jail that it evokes so much outrage from our community?
    When piercers step over the lines like this AND get caught, it reflects poorly on all of us.

  96. Andrew is a great guy, there’s no doubt about it, but the matter of the fact is he broke the law by performing acts reserved only for registered physicians. Using the whole “consent” defense doesnt cut it. You cant consent to an illegal acitivity, which this was. Aside from the obvious infections that could arise from performing such activities, the lack of localized or general anaesthetic could also result in PTSD from the pain and anguis of the procedure. I know that Andrew and his most recent previous emplyer are all about cleanliness, as indicated by the visible health unit inspection results in the front window, but they cannot take him being “a nice guy” or his level of sanitation and say “it’s ok”. What kind of example would that be setting? What he did is illegal, and unfortunately he must pay the piper. What’s next, a battle to legalize dentistry performed out of people’s living rooms or car trunks?

  97. I realize what these laws are made to protect. They are trying to prevent dumb people from getting basement boob-jobs and back alley operations from ‘unrecognized’ surgeons (by the medical community). They’re meant to protect. I’ve met some girls with pretty scary results after deciding to have their cosmetic surgery in South America where there are less protective laws and more stay at home ‘surgeons’ than here in North America.

    It is unfortunate that the law has made an example of Andrew. I feel his case is an exception but they just want to reinforce the issue by using his case and that just plain sucks. I don’t agree with the accusations of assault in this case, its just a bad interpretation of laws that are meant to protect the public.

  98. Andy died….they found his body on the side of the highway and it was an apparent suicide…….Ive heard that theres alot more to the story…..anyone know anything???

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