Posted by: emjb | October 2, 2007

“don’t come back till you lose that 50 pounds”

I once had a doctor lecture me about my weight when I actually went in to see him about a cold. Because, you know, I don’t KNOW that I’m considered fat and unhealthy. Thanks, doc! Can, I um, have that prescription for my lung infection now that you’ve humiliated me?

Fat discrimination by the medical profession is not a myth. Sometimes, it even kills. At the very least, it’s irresponsible and unethical to refuse to treat a patient simply because they are overweight, as some of the commenters to that story relate.

One comment in particular brought tears to my eyes, about a woman who avoided doctors for 28 years because she was afraid of their treatment of her as a fat woman; when she finally did go, she cried because the doctor was “so kind.” Kindness should not be rare; compassion should not be the exception, for fat people or anyone. A person who’s overweight comes to their doctor already bearing the scars of how others see them and how they see themselves. The least their doctor can do is not add to them.

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