Most of the doctors said that their equipment and examining tables couldn’t hold larger woman (which smells oddly like bullshit), but some said that obesity comes with more complications that the doctors would rather avoid.
“People don’t realize the risk we’re taking by taking care of these patients,” Dr. Albert Triana, who practices in South Miami, tells the paper. “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].”
Unsurprisingly, many of the doctors who have enacted the weight cut-off also have a history of being sued for malpractice or cover high malpractice insurance premiums.
While doctors can not turn down patients based on race, gender, or sexual orientation they are free to turn away patients based on weight. Though not everyone agrees with the policy.
“This completely goes against the principles of being a doctor,” James Zervios, a spokesman for the Obesity Action Commission said to the paper. “Health care professionals are there to help individuals improve their quality of health, not stigmatize them according to their weight.”
Source: Miami New Times Blog
I weighed about 280 when I conceived. I am having absolutely NO complications. I’m expected to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and birth. To have turned me away simply due to weight would be discrimination, plain and simple, because weight has nothing to do with health or possible complications. Not all thin people are healthy and not all fat people are lazy diseased slobs.
I argued this point on my facebook earlier. You know what I was met with? A MAN I don’t know defending the article saying, and I quote, “if you care so much about your baby, why are you not in the healthiest condition you could be?”
“ideally I would have weighed less when I conceived, but it was unplanned. Seeing as losing 150 pounds overnight by sheer will and love for my child is impossible, suggesting I don’t care about my baby by not being “at my healthiest” (which actually, I am in spite of me weight) is remarkably fucked up and ignorant. My two cents.”
I saw the article earlier and was already pissed off, so to see a couple of MEN argue that fat women don’t love their kids simply because they’re fat kind of REALLY set me off. WTF do men know about being a woman, about being pregnant, about losing or gaining weight as a woman (because men and woman metabolize differently, in case I needed to point that out)? Answer: NOTHING.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if the topic is over your head and is something you could never and will never understand, you will only sound ignorant and/or like an asshole by sharing your opinion. Not to mention that owning up to discrimination of any type isn’t exactly an attractive quality.
I’ve always been considered overweight, obese, or even morbidly obese. I’ve NEVER had a problem with BP, cholesterol, etc whereas several of my thinner friends who don’t take care of themselves have had such problems. I’m not saying I’m the picture of health despite my weight, but I AM of the very strong opinion that simply LOOKING at me shouldn’t be enough to decide I’m not healthy. ssumptions are dangerous, regardless of what they’re based on. Turning someone away based simply on weight is no different then turning them away simply because they’re black, catholic, or gay. NONE of these things mean anything definitely about someone’s health, even if statistics might suggest differently.
The point I am maki ng is that obesity in and of itself should NOT be reason enough to turn anyone away for treatment. And in this particular case, the insurance companies are applying pressure to doctors that based on their own histories of malpractice, are high-risk doctors, not necessarily because they deal with high-risk patients.
I’m willing to repeat my stance til my fingers fall off. Living an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight are not synonymous. I haven’t had a problem with a doctor, thankyouverymuch but I don’t think anyone else in my position should.
:EDIT: I juts want to add that just today, I went to the endocrinologist, a specialist that I am supposed to see every 6 weeks throughout my pregnancy simply due to my weight and nothing else…he looked over my blood work and was impressed with how good everything looked. “Beyond perfection!”, he said. He also told me he wished he could give me some suggestions or pointers, but, and I quote “You can’t argue with success!”
NOTE: This post was originally dated May 17, 2011...this is the post from my pregnancy blog that lead to the NBC feature on Sizism in OB/GYN offices in Miami. I thought it'd be fun to post it here to show what my perspective on fat-shaming and being a plus size preggo was while I was actually pregnant ;)