It seems the more obese Americans get, the more obesity discrimination seems to rear its ugly head. Lately there have been multiple blatant examples of it hittin' the headlines every day. Like a recent one from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, in which a primary care doctor named Dr. Helen Carter is turning away patients who weigh more than 200 pounds.
According to Dr. Carter, "After three consecutive injuries (with other patients) trying to care for people over 250 pounds, my office is unable to accommodate a certain weight and we put a limit on it." Instead of seeing these patients, Carter refers women to a nearby obesity center (because apparently the "disease" of weighing over a certain number on the scale trumps a common cold or anything else a patient may need care for). Bravo, doc! Nothing like seeing a physician practicing more bigotry than real medicine!
Sadly, what Dr. Carter is doing is not considered illegal, unethical (according to the American Medical Association), or rare.
Last year, OB/GYNs in South Florida did the same thing, asserting that, "People don't realize the risk we're taking by taking care of these patients. There's more risk of something going wrong and more risk of getting sued." Wah wah.
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Guess these doctors aren't up to the task of truly caring for their patients or living up to that Hippocratic Oath they take to "assume the respect for all human life."
And that said, Dr. Carter is probably doing women like Ida Davidson -- who told a local Boston news station that the physician refused to see her as a patient due to her weight -- a favor. They deserve to know upfront that this doc's more focused on a patient's weight than anything else -- even if the scale has nothing to do with the patient's overall health and well-being. To know that they ought to turn on their heel and walk right out of Dr. Carter's un-"accommodating" practice.
No matter what a woman weighs, she deserves a doctor who sees her as a whole person with unique needs -- not just a number on a scale or a pants size. There's absolutely no reason we should have to stand for anything less. Let alone doctors who apparently not only lack the skills to care for a diverse range of patients but also the heart and soul.
Do you take issue with doctors turning patients away for weighing too much?