Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Doctors refusing to treat overweight patients?

Increasingly, if you’re not a healthy person already, more and more doctors are shying away from you. In a profession where the axiom, “Do No Harm” is supposed to reign supreme, some physicians are saying “Don’t Come to Me” instead, especially for patients who are obese.

A few doctors in Florida have begun to turn away obese patients, claiming they come with too many health problems and risks. Some physicians who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology in particular, have set weight limits for new patients or other measures of obesity. Any woman who surpasses those standards is turned away.

“People don’t realize the risk we’re taking by caring for these patients,” said Dr. Albert Triana, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “There’s more risk of something going wrong and getting sued. Everything is more complicated with an obese patient in GYN surgeries and in [pregnancies].”

In the South Florida region alone, 15 OB/GYN practices out of 105 polled by the newspaper turned away obese patients. Some practices set weight limits of 200 pounds; others 250 pounds.

Part of the problem, say the physicians, is that obese patients tend to have more health issues. Another reason is continuity of practice; since obesity causes other medical problems, the doctors say they then have to sendtheirpatients to other physicians who specialize in those problems.

“This is not a high-risk practice,” one medical office manager told the paper, adding that the physicians in that particular OB/GYN office “are not experts in obesity.”

Doctors who specialize in OB/GYN practices have for years turned away pregnant women who are obese, referring them instead to specialists. But now, that trend is moving towards women who arenotpregnant, just obese.

Not all physicians feel that way. Some area doctors interviewed by the paper said they would never consider turning away obese patients.

“If I had that policy, I wouldn’t have a practice. I’d lose half my patients,” Dr. Maureen Whelihan, a West Palm Beach OB/GYN said. “We never turn down anyone. We would see them, and if we had to, we would refer them to a specialist.”

Medical ethicists say doctors turning people away because of what is clearly a medical condition is just plain wrong.

“To refuse to even see a patient because they are overweight is not reasonable and not ethical,” said Dr. Charles D. Rosen, president of the Association of Medical Ethics, told CBS News.

“This is discriminating against people who have a medical problem. It is like discriminating against someone who is African-American or short or has a certain employment,” he added.

 

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2 responses to “Doctors refusing to treat overweight patients?

  1. Traci July 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I’m sure there are enough new doctors willing to see extremely obese patients. The patients just need to do enough calling through the yellow pages until they find someone. Maybe the doctors who send them away should also give them some information about eating healthy so that they can lose the weight and come back. The vegan diet is very effective for helping people to lose weight and have better health. However, if you like lots of fattening foods and don’t want to give them up, then good luck in your search for a doctor.

  2. Fulton July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    The human body is mind boggling. Look at all of the components inside one body and try to figure out how it possibly all works. What’s even more cool is that we have nearly two of everything in case something stops working. This being said, it is still critical to exercise and to eat healthy. Just because we have two of everything doesn’t mean we should abuse it!

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