Doctor Doesn't Accept Obese Patients: What Do You Think?
The controversy stemmed from a Shrewsbury woman being denied as a new patient at a primary care physician's office in Worcester.
Debate ensued late this summer after a Shrewsbury resident was turned away from a primary care doctor's office because she was obese.
The woman told WCVB that Dr. Helen Carter told her she couldn't treat her as a patient because she weighed more than 200 pounds.
The doctor told WBUR last month that she decided to institute her policy primarily because a colleague had been seriously injured pulling out the exam table foot rest for a 280-pound patient. In general, the policy applies to anyone who is obese and weighs above 200 pounds, or has a BMI over 30. It is geared toward "avoiding further injuries to providers and the subsequent loss of productivity," she told the radio station.
The doctor's policy is not illegal. The American Medical Association's Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs policy reads "Both patients and physicians should be able to exercise freedom in whom to enter into a patient-physician relationship ... physicians do not give up their freedom of association by merely becoming professionals."
Feedback on the doctor's decision has ranged from supportive to appalled. What do you think?