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Should Doctors Institute Weight Limits for Patients?

Dr. Helen Carter is no longer accepting patients who weigh over 200 pounds or have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30. What do you think about her new rule?

Should doctors be able to institute weight limits for patients as a way of avoiding injuries, or is this discrimination against people who may need help?

The question stems from Dr. Helen Carter, a Worcester-based doctor is no longer accepting new patients who are obese, according to WBUR—specifically, patients who weigh over 200 pounds or have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30.

Carter told WBUR that her new policy is "self-preservation," instituted because another doctor in her practice had been seriously injured pulling out the exam table foot rest for a patient who weighed 280 pounds.

The policy isn't discriminatory, Carter told WBUR, because patients have access to other doctors in the area, including some facilities that cater to patients who need to tackle weight loss. She is also not dismissing any current patients who don't meet her standards, saying that the policy "give them a goal ... the problem with obesity is it has become socially acceptable." 

Read the full report at WBUR and tell us: Do you think it's fair for Carter to institute such a policy at her private practice for safety reasons? Or does it discriminate against people who need help from a doctor? Tell us your reaction in the comments below.

Concerned Citizen September 26, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Thanks Meg!
Concerned Citizen September 26, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Actually in Wakefield private businesses such as stores are not allowed to have people smoke. The Board of Health cites owners who smoke in their stores. The store I am speaking of was a hobby store.
fullname September 26, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Admirable, concerned and I agree. Too bad we are a for profit hospital and all the help we need isn't a consideration here. (Las Vegas...obesity buffet heaven with cows at the trough). Truthfully, we triage in emergencies and fat people will be last to be saved. This should be a wake-up call to the naive contributors here. The nurses owe it to their own families to stay healthy and injury free in their workplace. Lose your weight Fatso's. We don't owe you our lives too. And NOTHING is worse than family members who bring them all the food they want and want the nurse to "pull them up in the bed higher " so they can binge. Yes...I'm in the correct job. I'm waiting for you pigs on a ventilator to help make the payments on my 3 houses, 2 cars, an RV, and a hot young petite wife. Have a cookie. Blame your thyroid. We've heard em all. And thanks for the reveiling profile pics of your fat jowls!!!
Richard Jertz September 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Glad to see we are beating this topic to death now.

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