Some ob-gyn doctors in South Florida turn away obese women. Not chubby. Not fat. Obese women. Some names were given out in a news article, and some doctors got in trouble. One said, “Oh, no. I do see obese women.” In a nation with 93 million obese people, you get a few doctors in South Florida (my guess is that they’re everywhere) who refuse to see otherwise healthy women solely because they are obese and all hell breaks loose.
Some of the doctors said the main reason was their exam tables or other equipment couldn’t handle people over a certain weight, but at least six said they were trying to avoid obese patients because they have a higher risk of complications. Keep in mind the malpractice problems for ob-gyn doctors is huge. People have floated away from that specialty because everyone wants a perfect baby and they sue the doctor when it doesn’t happen. It’s a really difficult specialty at this point.
“People don’t realize the risk we’re taking by taking care of these patients,” said Dr. Albert Triana, whose two-physician practice in South Miami declines patients classified as obese.[Dr. Triana later said his practice does accept obese patients] “There’s more risk of something going wrong and more risk of getting sued. Everything is more complicated with an obese patient in GYN surgeries and in [pregnancies].” (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-05-16/health/fl-hk-no-obesity-doc-20110516_1_gyn-ob-gyn-obese-patients)
A couple of doctors said the cross-over point was if the women weighed over 250 pounds. Two of the doctors who were interviewed stated they didn’t want to begin seeing obese women and then have to send them to specialists if they later developed problems. The office manager at one place said “This is just not a high risk practice.” The doctors there are not experts in obesity.
Turning down overweight people is not illegal for doctors, but the policy worried leaders of physician groups, medical ethics experts and advocates for the obese — how can you advocate for obesity? It’s like advocating for slow suicide. That’s bizarre to me — all of whom said it violates the spirit of the medical profession.
One doctor stated that if they had that policy, they wouldn’t have a practice, because they’d lose half their patients. And do you know why that’s true? Because statistics don’t lie: Americans are fat! According to psychorg.com, Americans are fatter than Mexicans, Australians, Greeks, New Zealanders, the British, and more. We’re fat! American’s ate more than twice as much high fructose corn syrup (sugar) per person in 2004 than we did in 1980. We’re eating more and more crap and we’re moving less and less, so we have more and more obese people.
I went to a website that advocates for obese people and found an article about obesity discrimination in the doctor’s office:
Perhaps a more unsettling type of obesity discrimination occurs in a place where caring, trust and unbiased treatment should be guaranteed…your doctor’s office. Unfortunately, on average, doctors are not immune from obesity discrimination tendencies. (http://www.bariatric-surgery-source.com/obesity-discrimination.html)
I read that and I got angry. Doctors are not discriminating because they find the patient offensive, they’re discriminating because obese people walking in clearly indicate that they’re not responsible; they don’t have self-discipline; and they probably won’t follow the protocol. They are also more likely to have side complications and not do what it takes to get the fat off so they will be healthier and be less at risk. All the risk now goes to the doctor. How many of you think that is fair?
What I’ve learned is that it’s okay for you to be totally out of control, but someone else has to accommodate you anyway. That’s personal responsibility? That’s a bratty kid.