Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Doc Won't Treat Patients Over 200 Pounds
avatar
Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
A Massachusetts primary care physician no longer accepts patients who weigh more than 200 pounds, Boston's WCVB reports .

The doctor stated, "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."

What do you think about this policy?

Haylen
Reply
 
avatar
Anon_475 replied to cjh1203's response:
I don't think the poster wanted to debate abortion but rather the zeal with which "imperfect" babies (especially those with downs) are tracked down and eliminated ...
 
avatar
worn1 responded:
haylen
maybe this debate results should be forwarded to the "doctor"
i think it would be an eye opener for her
jo h
 
avatar
Cjtoy replied to Anon_12611's response:
So that is like saying to refuse treatment to little kids that are overweight who might have some neurological disorder or people who are gay or black or what ever the problems might be nothing like discrimination or maybe people with CANCER or over the age of 65! What do you think a doctor goes to medical school for any way? To sit on their thumb and twirl? Not hardly oh and I did weigh over 240 but I now weigh almost 200 and yes I do exercise and keep in check what I eat but that is utterly ridiculous to say that one would not take a patient because of their weight or what ever their health status is!
 
avatar
KatmanduLou responded:
I don't agree with it, but I understand it. The issue is with safety for the doctor and her staff who have been injured by overweight patients. Not all doctor's offices are equipped to handle the severely obese.

It is not illegal to refuse to treat a specific group of people. My DH doesn't go to a gyno!


Lest you think I'm being crass, my BFF is 5'2", is 300 and has difficulty doing what we "thinner" people might consider basic things - walking up stairs, or a ramp, going for a walk. It's agony for me to go shopping with her; she needs to hold onto a shopping cart wherever we go. I've recently lost 25 of 35lbs I need to take of, and I'm gently encouraging her to be more aware of what she eats. I can only hope it works.
Lou
 
avatar
1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to Anon_12611's response:
So many drugs are designed to help people who are overweight and the diseases that are brought on by obesity. The drug industry would have an absolute fit, if this was even thought of by doctors. Sadly we are in that type of world now, where the drug companies control what the doctors do.

As for not treating someone who smokes is sort of absurd, i understand there are health risks. but there are healthy people who can drop dead of a heart attack that have never smoked a day in their life and their are people who have smoked their entire lives but have lived a long life well into their 90s.

My point is that if you start to single out a specific group of people, their will be no where to draw the line...first the overweight, then the smokers, then the drinkers, then the people with certain religious convictions, then people with pre-existing conditions...eventually they wont have anyone to treat.

You know, this may just be the way to solve our health care issue, just stop treating everyone, one group at a time. Darwin was right, only the strong, survive. I have my vices, but i exercise 4 days a week and eat well. But since you have no sins, you can cast the first stone...
 
avatar
sadblossom responded:
I think this policy is ludicrous! Clinics and Dr's offices should be equipped with at least one personel that could manage a large person.Where are these people suppose to go if this policy continues, or even 'spread' to other facilities. It sounds like even a violation of human rights. What is next? Doctor's could refuse certain races, creeds, religions, or how about policies on income level. As if the poor do not have a hard enough time. Where would the line be drawn. Personally, I would not want a doctor to treat me that had a heart and mind no broader than this.
This policy just makes me angry to think about it.

Pat
 
avatar
bob249 responded:
excluded
 
avatar
Jeune1 responded:
I also don't get how a PCP can be so cavalier about refusing patients who. As a whole that specialty is floundering and she has basically said "No patients with uncontrolled diabetes!"

Good luck with that.

P.S. I really wish webMD would change the lede to this post. It is incorrect and reflects badly on the quality of information on the site as a whole.
 
avatar
meenal82 responded:
Well it may be offensive and discriminating for some people but it is also a good way for the potential patients to motivate themselves to get in better health and shape with an adequate weight. I guess the physician's reasoning might not be taken well in the society but his intentions seems clear and unoffensive.
Thanks
 
avatar
jians responded:
with this kind of issue,i do wanna stress the right of the doctors not to treat patients who they are not able to assist or who is beyond their limit,this is not just for the safety of the staff or the doctor but for the "patient" as well.

this dosctor should not be rude in explaining to the patient what limit they are only capable of assisting or treating on thier office anyway but they should refer them to an office who has the ability to treat patients w/ that 200lbs wieght group.

if i were at 200lbs weight group i do not want to burden or cause injury to other people in treating me,"if im not able to move myself"
we need to care for other as well, as we all know their job is not easy.taking care of other people is not an easy job to do.as much as they want to help,if they are not able to do it let us understand the situation.
 
avatar
CAMMSNNP replied to yankeelover's response:
Perhaps the Hippocratic Oath did not have to consider such, as if one was morbidly obese in that era (5th century BC), and was availed by a doctor, then one must have had wealth and attendants. Without medical treatment, the morbidly obese would succumb to health issues and die early, or be unable to defend themselves from attack and would also die early. For most though, at the time of the Hippocratic Oath coming into formation, it was unlikely that the common man had enough food surplus to become 'super size' in the first place.

Having myself been injured by a 270 lb person, I intend to put similar restrictions in place in who I will choose to see as a provider, but I may take a more practiced approach and invite the obese client to compensate for the cost of having to maintain a lift team available, in the room with us, just in case an emergency happens.

This should appear ridiculous to most, as most exam rooms are not big enough for 4 adults (6 required if over 200 lbs) plus the patient and provider. OSHA states for safe patient handling, this requires one person for each 50 lbs and balanced in partners of two to balance the lifting.

So If I have to hire 6 team members to be available to rescue obese persons at minimum wage or $43.50 per hour (# of persons x $7.25), with the average client visit at $45, shall I effectively lose money on this client, or spread the charge to those not requiring those services? Since America is at 36% Obesity, that is one in three clients who might need these services. So why should the healthy clients subsidize the one who has made a choice to be obese?

Then again, maybe it is time for the medical specialty of 'Obesity' with sub categories of diabetes, musculoskeletal complaints, GI issues, and wound management, as obesity will lead to all these disease conditions eventually, and then succumb to heart disease and renal failure.

Obesity and overeating are diseases and require psychotherapy. The consequence of the obesity is inability to self-manage ones habitus, such that one does not impose upon others unduly without their express permission. Smokers no longer have the right to impose their second hand smoke upon others and this is also considered a disease. Each of these persons chose to take up these activities.

HIV clients got random bad luck of the draw, even if they lived a lifestyle that led into the disease process. However, we are quire adept at reducing the risk of our clients infecting us. By ourselves, we are unable to prevent the excess body weight of the obese from exerting a negative affect on us, other than to remove the potential threat by refusing to interact with such clients.

ps: Obamacare will only work if you force those who are uninsured to become insured to help subsidize those who live an unhealthy lifestyle to bring down the average cost of treating all Americans. A key fact lost on most persons.
 
avatar
CAMMSNNP replied to Wolfsong452's response:
A sick morbidly obese patient who passes out at an inopportune moment is a danger to any of those who try to prevent injury. Accidents are unpredictable by nature. The only cure is preventing the cause from creating initial risk, which this doctor has done by refusing to see morbidly obese individuals.
 
avatar
cvkemp responded:
I just have one question. I am 200 pounds and I am a very fit 64 year old male. By the BMI charts I am over weight, but I only have 16% body fat, what am I going to have to do lose the muscle I have been working so hard to get?
I really do not understand, the stupid BMI charts, and a lot of doctors, and insurance company thinking.
I am lucky that I have found a doctor that sees me for who and what I am and not just something to look up on a stupid chart.
 
avatar
worn1 replied to CAMMSNNP's response:
If you are in the medical professioin you need to change profressions. You are burned out. When you no longer enjoy what you do and only do it for the money it is time to change jobs. You are doing your patients no favor. I have worked in health care since 1973 and seen the poor level of care given by burned out health care providers. I have seen patients abused by doctors who no longer care about patients. I have seen doctors abuse fellow employees verbaly. I have been the on the receiving end of verbal abuse as a patient and health care provider. The physician who verbaly abused me in front of a emercency room full of patients had so many complaints stemming from that incident by both staff and patients he lost his privilege to practice at that hospital.
Patients deserve better than to be treated by some one who no longer gives a rat's patute about their health.

Jo H
 
avatar
candyapplekiss responded:
I think it's stupid! They deserve to be accepted. 250lbs is not mega big, 500lbs and up yes, but still they deserve to be accepted, any doctor can do things different to keep from getting hurt. i think it's just a personal thing against big people. What if every doctor turned big people away, they would'nt have a hope in this world. Shame on these doctors!


WebMD Talk Show

Feel like a friendly debate? Take the gloves off and defend your viewpoint.

Learn More

Health Insurance in Your State

Learn about plans, benefits, and costs in your state's Marketplace.

From WebMD