Well, that not in so many words but, you’ll see…
According to an article in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, some doctors have been turning away patients on the grounds that they were too fat (one physician suggested that she did so because, ridiculously, she feared for the safety of her staff once the patients weighed more than 200 pounds), *snip*
Obesity also raises questions of medico-political philosophy. Surgeons, for example, sometimes refuse to operate on very fat people, especially for conditions that are not life-threatening, because the results are poorer and the rate of complications higher. This is important not only for the patient, but for the surgeon who might be judged by his results. No doubt physicians who refuse to treat the fat are more likely to see them as weak-willed rather than the victims of genetic endowment, physiology or even of society; but some doctors refuse to treat the fat on the grounds that they do not have the special equipment needed to do so. The authors of the article suggest that this is wrong; that the correct approach is that they, the doctors, ought to buy the necessary equipment. The authors, though, do not tackle the question of who is to pay for it: the doctors, the fat themselves, or the other patients? The answer given will depend crucially on one’s moral attitude to obesity.
One of the more frustrating experiences of my life was talking with Doctors during MJ’s hospital stay last year. It was shockingly clear that none of them had any idea how to treat obesity or diabetes (other than the prescription pad) and they all saw themselves as the managers of MJ’s slow decline into advancing diabetes, the eventual loss of a limb or blindness and then death due to diabetic complications.
I wish I was kidding but I actually prodded at least two of her Docs into admitting just this and when I would challenge them by asking if they thought type II diabetes was curable they would just start mumbling in an irritated fashion about lifestyle and yada-yada-yada. And when I finally brought the conversation around to diet, specifically a low carb high fat diet almost to a one they were familiar, had some sense that it worked, but all immediately said ‘it’s just too hard.’
Sure, cuz losing a leg or going blind is a walk in the park, right?