I recently read a news report from Kansas City about a 5 foot tall, 275 pound woman who needed an MRI exam. The problem is that MRI tables often can’t support heavier patients and the tubes into which the patient must be moved generally can’t fit someone of her girth.
You don’t usually see body scanners that will accommodate bigger patients, because they don’t provide the clearest images, and those that have large openings increase the possibility of the magnetic field dissipating into the room.
The obese woman in question reported that someone at the hospital suggested that she could go to the zoo for an MRI as they accommodate larger critters. The suggestion was made to “help” and not to “insult.” According to news sources, the woman said: “I thought, I know I’m big, but I’m not as big as an elephant. And my husband got mad.”
Sadly, she has a tumor on her spine, has had multiple surgeries, and now has partial paralysis. This event is purported to have happened two years ago.
I’ve heard that there are some court cases to force airlines not to charge obese people for the two seats it takes to carry them. This is yet another situation where no responsibility is taken for being obese. What is it with our thinking that no matter what irresponsibility we demonstrate, the world is supposed to accommodate us?
There is a difference between making access for folks who are in wheelchairs and making access for people who simply abuse their bodies and then demand that the consequences of their actions be borne by others.
This woman eventually did find a place with an “open” MRI machine. I hope her treatment is successful and she takes from this experience some sense of purpose in getting her body more healthy, rather than anger that not everything will adapt to her. She has some responsibility too.