Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Florida Physicians Refusing to Treat Obese Patients

There is a definite ethical concern here.
Fifteen obstetrics-gynecology practices out of 105 polled by the Sun Sentinel said they have set weight limits for new patients. Some of the doctors said the main reason was their exam tables or other equipment can't handle people over a certain weight, but at least six said heavy women run a higher risk of complications.
Can I not say it loud enough - TORT Reform.
"People don't realize the risk we're taking by taking care of these patients," the newspaper quoted Dr. Albert Triana of South Miami as saying. "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]," he told the newspaper.

It is not illegal for doctors to refuse overweight patients, but it has medical ethicists worried. So far, the weight cutoffs have been enacted only by South Florida ob-gyns, who have long complained about high numbers of lawsuits after difficult births and high rates for medical-malpractice insurance.
Now, watch the government step in and mandate that these physicians treat these risky patients despite the fear of being sued. I would suggest the Congress revisit tort reform legislation and limit the damages that can be received in medical malpractice awards.

Also, for the patients - lose weight.

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