Doctor Refusing to Treat Overweight Patients Is Doing Them a Favor (VIDEO)

Say What!? 118

dr. carter refuses overweight patientsIt 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?

obesity, doctors, weight loss

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dynom... dynomitesmall

If a woman is that obese then the least of their worries is a common cold. And if a person doesn't have enough respect for their own human life, why should a doctor risk their license to treat them? Especialy in OB/GYN. Women who are overweight pose much greater risks to themselves and their unborn babies than a woman of a healthy weight. Again, why should a doctor take those sort of risks when a woman is being that irresponsible with her own life and that of her child? I don't think it's bigotry. It's called COVER YOUR ASS, which is what doctors do more than anything.

qlarue qlarue

I quit my doctor over weight related issues.  I fell down some steps and injured my knee. I just needed a referral for a specialist but  he spend the whole appointment talking about my weight and how it was bad for my knees.  My weight didn't cause me to fall down the steps, my cat did, but he wouldn't lay off.  So I found a different doctor that was interested in me, not just my weight.

nonmember avatar dani

I've heard of surgeons refusing (or recommending other facilities to) obese patients. Only because they did not have the proper equipment. For example: the operating table not being big enough to accomidate an obese patient. I, for one, appreciate their openess to tell someone that. After all, it was for the patient's protection. You can't have a patient hanging off the table or risking a fall from the operation table in the middle of surgery! But that is the only instance i have heard of. Never a general physician refusing an obese person. I only agree with it if they honestly do not have the proper equipment to care for the patients!

cmjaz cmjaz

Were they breaking the equipment? I don't get it.

nonmember avatar Victoria

Wow. You have obviously never worked in health care. I hate bigotry but this is a safety issue. Do you have any idea how many health care workers are seriously injured or even disable because they had to take care of obese patients? Do you think the fact that ambulances have been made larger to accommodate the obese is discrimination? No, it's to make things safer for the workers and the patients.



If an obese patient is in a facility that I not equips to handle and transport them, it is not only a danger to the employees but also the patient and any patients who are left unattended because it takes more man power to lift these patients.



Also, obesity is a health problem that not only presents its own risks, but can cause complications with other health problems and often calls for special consideration in treatment. Why shouldn't these people see a specialist who can offer them the best treatment? You send your kids to a pediatrician, how is this different?



This doctor is tryin to prevent herself and her staff from sustaining injury and trying to make sure people receive proper care.

work4... work4mickey

I get that being overwieght is unhealthy, but isn't a doctor suposed to help and advise you about that. And depending on your height, 200 lbs may not be "grossly" overweight, just a little.(and not at all for certain types of athletes.) Advise on diet and exercise from a primary doctor would be far better than referal to an "obesity center" which often focus on surgical approaches to weight loss. Also, there are conditions, aside from behavior, that can cause one to be obese.

ethan... ethans_momma06

Are people missing the:


"After three consecutive injuries (with other patients) trying to care for people over 250 pounds,"


Injuries are happeniing. She doesn't want to be liable, responsible-whatever for injuries happening in her practice. That seems like a GOOD thing to me. She's referring them to an appropriate area where they can get the care the need without endangering themselves or others.


Good for her I say.

work4... work4mickey

ethans mom,

The injuries were from patients over 250 lbs, yet she has set the bar at 200. Also people have been injured by people in the normal, healthy range, so....



Also I am almost 300 pounds and relatively healthy (blood presure, blood sugar, cholesterol, all in the heathy range. BTW I also walk alot) but would not be supprised to be refused service due to my current wieght and I do acknowlege that I need to loose weight. But if I lost a hundred pounds and was still refused service, I would be livid.

work4... work4mickey

ethans mom,

The injuries were from patients over 250 lbs, yet she has set the bar at 200. Also people have been injured by people in the normal, healthy range, so....



Also I am almost 300 pounds and relatively healthy (blood presure, blood sugar, cholesterol, all in the heathy range. BTW I also walk alot) but would not be supprised to be refused service due to my current wieght and I do acknowlege that I need to loose weight. But if I lost a hundred pounds and was still refused service, I would be livid.

Erinly Erinly

I say good for her. It's her practice and she's allowe to make the rules and run it as she deems best. I'm sorry if overweight people's feelings are hurt, but get over it and either lose some weight and get healthy or find another doctor. It's not her fault these patients are overweight and she shouldn't be judged or criticized for looking out for herself and her staff.

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