Upon making an appointment with Dr. Helen M. Carter, a primary care physician in Massachusetts, Ida Davidson was rejected because of her weight. She was stunned when she was informed that she could not see the doctor because she weighed more than 200 pounds.
Davidson did admit to being a little overweight but the incident happened during her 2nd visit to Dr. Carter’s office in which Dr. Carter noticed her weight gain and swollen feet.
When questioned, Dr. Carter says, “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.”
This isn’t the first time that a patient has been denied treatment by a doctor due to their weight. In an online forum, the mother of a 23 year old truck driver vents about her son being denied health insurance because of his weight.
Deciding to see a new physician is a tough decision to make. Not only are you looking for a reputable doctor to address your health needs and concerns but you also want that person to be compassionate and empathetic to all of your health needs. Denying a person health care or insurance due to their weight is completely wrong. It may be legal according to the the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs, but it’s discrimination.
May I remind you that before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it was legal to openly discriminate against people because of their race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs and sex. What makes this any different?