Illinois lawmakers seek to ban eye jewelry

Repulsed by a body modification offered at a Dutch institute – where tiny metal hearts and half-moons are surgically embedded in the whites of the eye – one lawmaker has proposed banning the practice in Illinois, the Associated Press reports.

A House committee Thursday approved legislation that would make it a felony to implant jewelry in someone’s eye, the AP reports.

“I don’t think anybody should be messing with the eyeball,” Democratic Rep. Kevin Joyce reportedly said Friday.

The procedure involves making a tiny slice in the membrane covering the eye and slipping in a small, flat piece of metal. The result is a shiny shape in the white of the eye. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic.

Dr. Janak Koirala, assistant professor of medicine at Southern Illinois University, reportedly said he is concerned about the possibility of infection or other damage – risks that would last as long as the person kept the jewelry in his eye.

In the United States, at least one California-based doctor is offering the procedure, the AP reports.