Do obese patients receive poor care compared to those who are not? That’s a good question, particularly for patients who may be overweight. There have been claims made that doctors are prejudiced against obese patients. Why? Many may assume that their medical problems are a result of their weight.
Is that true in all cases? Not at all. However, the original story posted in the New York Times claimed that many overweight patients had reported being treated poorly or insensitively. Doctors, in turn, claimed that wasn’t the case. So, what really happens? It might be a combination of both.
Some health care providers might not look beyond the patient’s weight, particularly if he or she is heavy enough to be causing the health problems that he or she is suffering from. Some doctors feel that weight loss alone is the cure for what ails a patient. That’s not always the truth, though, and weight can sometimes be a symptom of another problem.
Some doctors won’t treat obese patients. For instance, obstetric doctors may not take on 200 pound-or-heavier patients for fear that complications will lead to malpractice lawsuits down the line. Others might refuse to perform surgeries because of risks to patients, even if the patient is in overall good health.
If you are unable to obtain the right help or are dismissed by a doctor because of your weight, you should have the right to complain. You should be treated the same regardless of your weight, height, race or other factors. Our website has more information about what you can do.