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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?

    1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:
    In this case, when employees are getting injured trying to care for a patient, I understand their position. At least they have cause for this action. It then becomes a medical liability for the doctors office, workmans comp is not cheap.
    Jeune1 responded:
    As you note in your second paragraph, the practice is excluding ALL patients over 250 lbs. Why do you write women over 200 pounds?

    I know doctors can accept or refuse any patient but in general this has to happen BEFORE the first visit. The problem in this instance is the patient had already been seen once. While practices can fire patients, there's the risk of med-mal suits and medical board reprimands for patient abandonment. I'm not sure how this will play out well or reasonably. If the practice has a patient who weighs 249 for years and he or she suddenly gains a pound will the doctor say "Get out"? Will the doctor have all patients sign some sort of form stating they won't receive care if they reach the 250 mark?
    yankeelover responded:
    This is ridiculous. In the first place medical personnel are
    supposed to be trained on how to move large patients safely.
    Is she going to stop treating men over 250? A lot of men are
    over 250-why is she discriminating against women? If she is
    just basing this on the safety of her staff then is she going to
    stop treating patients with contagious conditions like flu and
    colds? Her staff can become sick from treating contagious
    patients. Has she ever heard of the Hippocratic Oath? I am
    pretty sure there is no weight limit mentioned in it.
    Anon_12611 responded:
    I agree with this policy but would like to add another reason for it other than the staff risking injuries while trying to accomodate patients. Unless the patient suffers from a glandular or other condition that is responsible for his/her overweight status, I believe doctors should refuse treatments to obese patients as so many health problems can be directly attributed to excess weight. Most of us can control our weight through discipline & by doing so, one can ward off many health problems or even eliminate them by losing the weight.

    I would also support any doctor who refused to treat patients who smoke.
    lexismom11 replied to Anon_12611's response:
    Why would you refuse to treat overweight patients? Don't give me the excuse that there are illnesses that come from being overweight. That's discrimination to refuse an entire group of people like that. Overweight people don't deserve medical treatment? Give me a break. Same goes for smoking. You can't refuse to treat someone's illness just because they are overweight or because they smoke.
    annette030 responded:
    A doctor has the right not to treat anyone I guess. I don't know the abandonment issues in Mass. or what the law there says.

    If you do not have the equipment to deal with very large patients safely, you shouldn't have to do it. I am a nurse, retired now, but it is very difficult to move large patients safely unless they can move themselves or you have proper mechanical lifts, large guerneys, etc. It is also about safety for the patient.

    Nurses have a large amount of back injuries due to lifting/transferring patients over and over. As a nurse, I really appreciate the doctor protecting his nurses.

    Patients may have to go to a bariatric specialist for care who can accommodate larger patients.

    As a heavier person myself, who has only gotten her weight under control these last few years, it would be tough. I am 61 years old and finally found an exercise program that I like well enough to stick with. But it has only been three years, who knows....

    Take care, Annette

    PS - I assume the doctor refuses men as well as women who are above his weight limits.
    Wolfsong452 responded:
    what I don't understand is if the person who's over 200 pounds is mobile, then how is thid dangerous for the employees?

    I could see the doctor refusing if the office doesn't have the machines to help move people, or if the paitent is unable to move themselves,

    This articule doesn't seem to be complete, typical writer, doesn't have all the facts, or they weren't printed
    cinsaintfouru responded:
    booch007 responded:
    As a past ICU nurse and now in the offfice, I would say 80% to 90% of our patients are over 200lbs. America is 90% over 200lbs.........

    I feel it is unethical to express this, to discuss risks and issues of high weight is important but this section of the patient population cannot be left out in the cold. I also see his patient pool being very small like the patients he wished to treat.

    I am 170lbs (overweight) still high on the BMI chart but I was 220.....before saying enough and getting on a plan for loss and restructure. I was a shift worker and a mother with alot of stress....all this adds to weight, it is not just what goes in your mouth.

    The foods that are offered to the public 24/7 are the can eat anything anytime of day! and empowerment to help people will be best approach. BUT in the stress lab I see many OUT OF SHAPE ILL SKINNY PEOPLE...and GREAT SHAPE CHUBBY'S (for the shape they are in)....

    I think it is terrible...............Nancy B
    booch007 responded:
    Also we see and counsel the gastric bypass patients.
    I have seen people up to 500lbs but can only test to 425lbs.

    They are a group of patients in need and despite the face you see, suffering...........

    They are mobile to their abilities, I don't lift...yet a hand needs to be given to some (good body mechanics) if I have not assessed them in their Jazzy chair......My tables are rate for 500lbs...we also set cynder blocks under the toilets to give support to the toilets off the wall. The ER was sued for one breaking off due to a patient....
    (they won)

    Sure enough ours was they are safe now. With nice tiling around the block so no one knows how we did it* (smart thinkier there).

    I do so much skin care teaching and skin care....It is an epidemic in the USA, but you can't say OUT...I won't care for you. I really again have to say it is unethical. I also think if they are an established patient you are open to Patient abandonment......

    OK, you got my juices flowing this morning..........

    Take care, Nancy B from the FM board.
    worn1 responded:
    My guess is she is incompetent to practice medicine. She is after the money only with no interest in the patients well being. The patient should be glad she found out the person claiming t be a doctor lacks the necessary knowledge to practice.
    What really makes my blood boil is the responses from people judging the patient for being over weight. Before parkinson and a thyroid that does not work i weighed 130 and ran every day or used the treadmill.
    currently i am over 200 fighting a uphill battle. people need to remember what my parents taught me. treat others as you would like to be treated.
    Jo H
    Anon_320 replied to Anon_12611's response:
    So you're saying that obese people and smokers should just be left to die.

    What about patients who used to smoke and have health problems because of it? What about people who don't eat enough fruits and vegetables? What about people who eat too much candy or drink six Cokes a day? What about people who eat prepared foods with artificial ingredients? What about people who do potentially dangerous things like ride motorcycles or skydive? What about people who don't get enough exercise? What about people who are sick because they allowed themselves to get old?

    What's the cutoff in your scenario? 199 pounds and you'll allow them medical treatment, but 200 pounds and you condemn them to death? What behavior is acceptable when you're deciding who should be allowed to live and who shouldn't?

    Doctors are supposed to heal people; not heal people only if they meet the doctor's standards.

    It's a slippery slope when doctors refuse to treat certain patients; where does it end? Nazi Germany had sort of the same attitude. People who were considered "defective" were killed. Most of us are defective in one way or another, but that doesn't mean that doctors should be allowed to refuse us medical treatment.
    Anon_320 replied to Anon_12611's response:
    Your post makes me so angry. I have more to say.

    I am a woman who weighs over 200 pounds. I hate that I weigh that much, but I do. My weight is the most negative thing about me.

    I am a kind and generous person. I volunteer and donate to charities. I am always there to support friends and family who are going through tough times. I am empathetic and sympathetic. There are a lot of people who care about me, and who would miss me if I were gone. I am a daughter, sister, wife and aunt. I help my older relatives who can't drive or are unable to do certain things for themselves. I am quick to write letters of encouragement to friends who are struggling, or to thank people for doing nice things. I try to always treat people with care and respect.

    But you're saying that my weight is the only thing about me that matters. That because of my weight, I don't deserve medical care and that, if that causes my early death, that's OK because I'm fat. It breaks my heart to know that so many people agree with you, and that you, and they, think a woman who weighs 120 pounds and beats her children is more deserving of medical treatment than I am. No pun intended, but it makes me sick.
    ginal2683 responded:
    I think that people with large health issues need to resolve them with a specialist before being seen by a primary care physician. TThey have lots of other issues to deal with. They need special care. I do not have a problem with weight but I do have a problem not being able to see my doctor because a person wants to see a doctor for reasons not fitted to that doctor.

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