Some S. Florida Gynos Refusing to Take Overweight Patients

…because they’re afraid of getting sued. No, really. Apparently the medical malpractice laws in Florida are so stringent that they are in effect making blanket pronouncements (and proscriptions against) ‘overweight’ women because they are deemed to be generally too ‘high-risk.’ There’s some blather and blah about not having the equipment to handle fat ladies, but that’s bunk because only a tiny percentage of fat ladies are large enough to need special equipment.

Report: Doctors Refusing to Treat Overweight Patients (CNSNews)

“People don’t realize the risk we’re taking by taking care of these patients,” the newspaper quoted Dr. Albert Triana of South Miami as saying. “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],” he told the newspaper.

People don’t realize the RISK we’re taking by taking care of these patients, sobbed Dr. Someone about those horrible fat people. Don’t you realize they’re ticking time bombs? And I don’t have the insurance money to cover cleaning all that adipose tissue off my exam room walls, you dig?

I dig, brother. Thankfully, the article doesn’t go on to shame and blame fat people, and ends on a reasonably reflective note:

It is not illegal for doctors to refuse overweight patients, but it has medical ethicists worried. So far, the weight cutoffs have been enacted only by South Florida ob-gyns, who have long complained about high numbers of lawsuits after difficult births and high rates for medical-malpractice insurance.

And I don’t even have to be a medical ethicist to be concerned about the ethical implications of suggesting that people be turned away from medical care for a characteristic that is 77% hereditary.

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4 comments on “Some S. Florida Gynos Refusing to Take Overweight Patients

  1. Ashley says:

    All kinds of people are at a higer risk for being taken care of, not just fat people. So I suppose they are going to start refusing all of those people soon?

    • bigliberty says:

      Good point in that there’s a tension between the risk-averse CYA attitude of these gynos and fat bias. Do they blanket-refuse to treat ‘higher-risk’ people like women with certain chronic diseases? Or is it just the fatties? And by the way, it wasn’t mentioned in the article I linked to but the cutoff for ‘overweight’ as they deem it is 200 lbs. So they also discriminate against taller women. When I was 200 lbs you could see some of my spinal cord (I’m 6 feet tall with a large frame).

      Basically they’re discriminating against the medical population of people for which society blesses discrimination. I understand the economics of risk-aversion, and being a libertarian I believe they have the right to take on or refuse whomever they choose, but this is not based on sound science, it’s just a paranoid CYA.

      • I weigh well over 200 lbs. I’d love to see those gynos try that shit on me.:)

        In all seriousness, any kind of weight bias in the name of health is bullshit, but especially the 200 lb limit. I guess a body-building woman isn’t “healthy” enough to have babies, either?

        Would they turn down a woman on antipsychotics? Those are teratogenic and actually do pose a health risk to a fetus. They might as well, since weight is just as out of your control as schizophrenia.

  2. deeleigh says:

    I’ll bet it’s just an excuse for “Oh, gross. Don’t want to touch naked fatties.”

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