According to the American Medical Association, “Obesity kills more Americans every year than AIDS, all cancers and all accidents combined.” So why are some doctors refusing to accept otherwise healthy new patients solely because they are overweight?
The Sun Sentinel conducted a poll in South Florida and found 15 obstetrics-gynecology practices out of 105 “said they have set weight cutoffs for new patients starting at 200 pounds or based on measures of obesity — and turn down women who are heavier.”
“People don’t realize the risk we’re taking by taking care of these patients,” Dr. Albert Triana told the paper. Triana’s two-physician practice in South Miami declines patients classified as obese. “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).”
But other doctors disagree. Dr. Bruce Zafran told the Sun Sentinel, “No doctor should be unable to treat patients just because they are heavy.”
“This completely goes against the principles of being a doctor,” James Zervios, a spokesman for the Obesity Action Coalition, told the paper. “Healthcare professionals are there to help individuals improve their quality of health, not stigmatize them according to their weight.”