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    Doc Won't Treat Patients Over 200 Pounds
    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?

    AnAmericanCynic responded:
    I think that it is horrible. Personally, I never want to fail in anything do, but I don't have that choice as an employee, father, husband, or frankly as a human being. If she cannot handle the heat, well, you get my point. Failure is a part of life. She has chosen a profession in life that has the highest failure rate, and if she cannot handle failure maybe she should choose another profession.

    I think that it is fair for a doctor to generate a contract with any of her patients that says if we cannot work together and you do not follow my instructions, then we can part ways. But to say we do not accept specific patients, that is just plain rude.

    Just my two cents.
    worn1 replied to GlennCoco76's response:
    If the reponse from the doctors had been I do not have the training for treating patients that are obese or My specialty is such and such but I do know a doctor who specializes in treating obesity. The way the situation has been handled leads one to believe they have no interest in a patients well being only what money can be made. ie the remark at the end i have 2 kids to put through school. The other thing that is offensive is the obvious dislike for obese patients. Health care providers donot judge patients they treat patients. The doctors are letting thier personnel dislikes interfer with treating patients I would never allow any family member to be seen by either one of these doctors since they cannot seperate their personel dislikes to treat the patients. Currently I am obese but that will not be for long. Once they get the level of synthroid where it needs to be -----my thyroid no longer works-----my excess weight will be history. If any doctor is reading this debate I hope you listen. Do onto others as you would have them do onto you. There is also another saying that goes something like this: None are so blind as those that will not see.

    Jo H
    charlotte1818 replied to Anon_320's response:
    that is stupid and really messed up doctors are suppose to help people and if your going to be a doctor or practice medicine. u need to be able to help people. no one deserves medical help no more than anyone else. if your in the medical field your suppose to take care of people. she will get her justice karma will repay her for her unjust treatment of others. that is just very inhuman it really is. If a doctor is going to turn down someone they don't need to be allowed to practice medicine. they take a hippocratic oath for a reason. This really outrages me. I'm a nurse in wyoming and i would never treat anyone like that.
    dmqgirl responded:
    Well I guess that is because we don't have enough health issues. I am over 250 and haven't seen a doctor beyond an occassional cold to get over quicker. On the other hand, my daughter who is 115lbs has been to the hospital for drinking too much, been to therapist for binging and purging. and only 25. My husband has had back surgery, hepatitis and his treatment, pain pump implant, and treatment for 30 years of depression. So who has insurance paid out the most for in this family. I walk just fine, so why would some one injure themselves with me. Maybe her office is not set up well, (idk). Just cannot figure that one out. Besides don't they stand to make more money off a pt with heart problems and diabetes??? What ever. Sounds like prejudice to me. I like what a previous poster said. They treat child molestors, and criminals and more, but because I carry extra pounds, she can't see me. Oh well. Then Insurance companies don't carry me either. Well, they would have made money on me for the last 30 years over lots of other thin people I know. Sounds a bit messed up to me, but what do I know, I am just one example. But I have never been part of any study,. so where do all these studies get their numbers anyway????? Oh by the way, my mother is 74 and over 220 and has never seen doctor for anything major either. So this doctor should get over her issues. She is no better than any of the rest of us.
    krystledm responded:
    Further proof that Obesity or "fatness" is the last safe prejudice.
    pnalder responded:
    I wouldn't want thid Dr. To treat me no matter what I weigh. This doctor is not professional.
    medinu responded:
    Might as well, the doctor had said "I did rather see pigs" for that's exactly who the doctor need to see.
    butterflygarden responded:
    This is a fascinating thread, and just shows that there are so many strong feelings around this topic.

    I want to start by saying that I understand the doctor's concerns about her staff. I have friends who are nurses, and they have been injured by patients who fainted, fell. And, not always obese patients, either.

    However, I feel like the best thing to do for her conscience and for her business might be to hire some orderlies who are bigger and better-equipped to handle heavier patients should there be a problem. I know it isn't the perfect solution, but it's a start. Also, perhaps outfit the office with more rails and devices that folks can hold onto or that can help catch them if they fall.

    The bottom line is that she absolutely has the right to refuse anyone she wants. I just don't see it as very good for her community image or her business in the long run.

    An_247755 replied to Anon_320's response:
    BRAVO! perfectly said!!! I may not be 200 pounds, but I work in the medical field, and this is absurb! Discrimination is discrimination! I encourage everyone to be as healthy as possible, but seriously; it is about the BMI's not the lbs, that doctors that are worth their salt pay attention to. A woman of a hight of 6" or more could easily be 200 pounds and still be within a range of a somewhat healthy BMI. Although we must as a nation aim to reduce the obesity problem for the sake of future generations & our own health, we MUST NOT become a nation that discrimanates, and denies basic human rights to others based on perception and predjudice.
    Jeune1 replied to An_247755's response:
    Excellent point about BMI. Anyone want to tell an NFL linebacker he's fat? Didn't think so.

    I also don't understand why it is assumed to be "safe" for staff to move an adult patient who is less than 200 lbs. I'd have trouble supporting the full weight of anyone over 150 lbs and I'm no weakling. How does she propose to handle patients who can't walk on their own and have to be lifted onto the exam table? Will she ban them as well? Might want to check the ADA first.

    But, as a basic financial decision, I don't understand how this will work for the doctor:

    If a new patient makes an appointment she could instruct the scheduler to ask for the patient's weight and height. But suppose the patient is off by a couple of pounds and says 195.

    The patient comes into the office, is weighed and whoopsie, turns out he or she is 200 lbs. Well, the MA or RN COULD tell the patient - Sorry we can't see you - and send the patient on his way. But now, even if the patient slinks off in embarrassment, the practice (that's the doctor) has wasted the time and money required to process a new patient in (verify insurance, create a chart, staff time/salary for the same &c, &c).

    Can the practice ask the patient for his co-pay? For what? The practice hasn't rendered a service and even if the patient does pay (which he SHOULD NOT), that $15 or $25 will NOT cover the expenses related to getting him in the office. Can the doctor bill the insurer for the visit? Well, she could, but it would be fraud and if she gets caught she'll be in deep doo-doo. Multiply that by a thousand if she does it to Medicare/Medicaid patients. ("The patient was too fat" is not a valid legal defense.)

    As for established patients, she sure as heck better make sure they have another provider before kicking them out because if anyone dies or suffers a severe medical event, she will be sued (if she's lucky) and have her license yanked (if she's not).

    At the end of the day I think what alarms me the most is the idea of someone this ignorant practicing medicine at all.
    brunosbud replied to Jeune1's response:

    This is WebMd, not facebook. Whoopsie!
    dollymctowelly responded:
    interesting. my first reaction was "great! more motivation to be healthy." but once i thought about it.. maybe there should be separate facilities for the obese specifically, treatment, and consideration on what being overweight really does to us as individuals, a community and health costs.

    i know my #1 reason to lose my weight is to get off all these medications... this is how this report effects me.. to lose the weight, be healthy and enjoy life.

    as far as people who are over 200 lbs because they are a male and are 6' 5" and an athlete... again... certain facilitators.

    as long as this isn't another way to """"" control us !! """"""
    edwards750 responded:
    I wonder what the % of patients are ones who have done something to cause them to go to the dr to begin with like climbing a tree and falling out of it or not paying attention to your driving and get into an accident. It is scary to think that now you will have to weigh in b4 you can or cannot be treated. And by the way a 6'-5" guy could easily weigh that much so he is saying women because even a 6'-5" woman shouldnt weigh that much. Okay probably not but I guess in the scheme of things it is his right. What about employers who say you have one year to quit smoking or you are fired or you have 1 year to quit drinking or lose weight...already hard enough to get jobs. BTW I weigh 124 lbs so I have no dog in the race.
    fcl replied to dollymctowelly's response:
    That's an interesting thought. Separate facilities for the obese is an idea that I like because an obese person doesn't have the same health issues as someone of a healthy weight. Their obesity adds so many complications to health problems. Also, another big plus that I see in this would be that overweight people could get medical care without being judged. The staff would be a lot more understanding towards them than in a standard facility.
    chocolatecity77071 responded:
    I think its silly. There is equipment that can assit with care for heavier people. As a nurse, i cant say i will not take care of patients over 200 pounds. You took an oath to take care of people and thats what should be done. Everyone deserves proper care and attention. Yes a doctor can refuse to see a patient however, what if the shoe was on the other foot? That doctor would want the same care as any other person.

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