It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Hurt Feelings Deadlier Than Heart Attack

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 09:46 AM
America is a fat nation. Obesity is one of the biggest killers here, and it affects all facets of health, from your blood pressure to fighting the common cold. Your coagulation profile (how your blood clots) even changes when you become obese! A doctor's responsibility is to the health of his or her patient, and very often they tell people they need to lose weight. It's not to be cruel, it's because their weight is killing them.

I work in the medical field, and work a lot with some drug researchers. One of the primary "risk factors" they identify is obesity. That's up there with stroke, seizure, liver disease, renal disease, arrhythmia, etc. It is a major risk.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this article. The doctor in the article has a lecture he gives to obese women specifically. It's along the lines of the dentist or orthodontist showing kids pictures of what their teeth will look like if they don't brush. He freaks them out by forcing them to see reality. It could appear like a scare tactic, but everything he says is absolutely true.

The woman was offended. To quote the doctor: "I told a fat woman she was obese. I tried to get her attention. I told her you need to get on a program, join a group of like-minded people and peel off the weight that is going to kill you."

When the doctor discovered she was offended, he wrote her an apology, but that wasn't the end of this story. The board of medicine's Medical Review Subcommittee reviewed the complaint and was going to issue a letter of concern to the doctor for exposing this woman to the truth about her health. They ended up rejecting that idea and sending the issue to the Attorney General's Administrative Prosecution Unit.

It is expected there will be a public hearing over this complaint; the doctor has even had to get a lawyer.

When does this stop? When will people realize that being offended by someone saying something is the least of your worries in this world? This doctor was trying to save her life, but she didn't like being called fat. So are doctors now going to have to remain silent for fear of offending someone when they see that there is a major medical risk in their lives? We're talking a woman’s life here, versus her getting to maintain the illusion that she doesn't have a weight problem. If she was a close loved one, which would you have preferred the doctor said, "you need to fix this now and here's why", or "Great job! You're in perfect health, keep on keepin' on"?

EDIT: Spelling

[edit on 8-25-2005 by junglejake]

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 09:53 AM
I read the same story Here , and I think this story is absolutely ridiculous. How is telling fat people that being overweight is horribly bad for your health any worse than telling the same to smokers? Both are unneccessary risks that people take, that we will end up paying for in the end. I don't know about you in the States, but here in Canada everyone pays their taxes into Medicare collectively, and I don't want all my money going towards a bunch of cases that could have easily prevented.

I absolutely HATE how politically correct this world is getting. Someone tries to help you live 10 years longer +, and you try to get their medical liscence revoked. Well guess what, if your BMI is more than 30% or you weigh 250 pounds or more, you are probably FAT. Obese is not an insulting term, it is a medical condition. People don't sue their doctors for telling them they have high blood pressure, how is this any different? There are no obese animals in nature, it is something that humans do to themselves, so they can't say it isn't their fault.

Does anybody actually agree with the lady in this case? Besides maybe a couple of other obese people...

How to cut health care costs in half:
1. Stop smoking.
2. Stop drinking excessively.
3. Don't eat for anything except the fuel you need to keep your body going.

How is it that we can put down someone that smokes by saying something like "Hey smoker that's a dirty habit. Why would you smoke? Don't you know you're killing yourself?" and it is completely acceptable, but not even a DOCTOR can properly tell someone that they are obese? Gosh-darn double-standards in the world today.

[edit on 25-8-2005 by Yarcofin]

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 10:14 AM
good Ole America, no she can sue the poor doctor, and live on a couch and pt on a 100 more ponds till she dies. Then her family will sue the doctor for malpractice for not getting her help in a 'proper fashion'.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 10:25 AM
I wrote an thread about this already. And it was moved here

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:32 AM
What we may have is a problem with communication (seriously.)

Great find, by the way.

I think this is a problem developing when we lose personal relationships with our physicians. The doctor sees 50 or so patients per day (or more) and has a constant rotation throughout his practice. Mine might recognize me two times out of four (as a patient... I've been going for years) but other than being overweight, I have no notable problems. I will remember him because he's the only doctor I see. He won't remember me because I'm one of a blur of patients in a huge practice.

So we never get a sense of how to "take" what our doctor says (I do, but I helped teach classes (student assistant) in med school.)

And some of them have notoriously poor bedside manners.

I'm not sure what can be done about this -- logic says that having a provider with only a few patients and personalized care is good for everyone, but you can't support a practice by treating a small cluster of only 100 families (as you could long ago.)

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:45 AM
What's interesting about this event is that this doctor is the last one in New Hampshire, according to the article, not affiliated with a hospital. He's got a private practice, and it seems he really does have a personal relationship with his patients. When he went public with this issue, a bunch of his patients got together under Mindy Haney, who is also obese and started a petition.

"For 15 years Dr. Bennett would tell me 'Mindy, you're overweight and you smoke,'" she said. " 'You are going to get diabetes or cancer or have a stroke or heart attack.' The whole time I was saying 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm young, those things only happen to someone else.'"

She said now she is a diabetic, has had cancer and failed a stress test terribly.

"Is he a fortune teller? No. He was a man trying to do his job. Whether I wanted to hear it or not, he was telling me the truth. All those things that happen to other people happened to me."

Haney said a lot of things Bennett tells people are upsetting.

"I would not want his job. He's the messenger and people are always out to shoot the messenger," she said.

She said Bennett is the most compassionate doctor there is. A lot of people who signed the petition, she said, just don't understand why the attorney general is spending money to investigate. "We can't lose him because someone doesn't want to hear they're obese," Haney said.

He sounds like a really cool doctor, though he tells you how it is. Though he may not always know who you are, he sounds consistant. Because of that, he will behave the same way towards his patients, so you develop a personal relationship with him, even if he doesn't with you.

This woman had been to see him 5 or 6 other times before he gave his obesity speach. The reason was, he kept telling her she needed to lose weight, but like Haney, she continued to put it on. This last time she went to see him, she was having chest pains, and was becoming diabetic with gastroesophageal reflux. She was killing herself, and he was going to let her know. She didn't want to hear it. Who can blame her, criticism hurts, especially when it's totally true and constructive. Instead of doing something about it, though, she wants his medical liscense so no one will be subjected to the mental anguish she had to go through when it became clear that her house of cards was crumbling and she was going to have to leave her delusions behind her if she wanted to live longer.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 04:06 PM
Well, Fox News has picked up on this story, as has the AP:

The board's Web site says disciplinary sanctions may range from a reprimand to the revocation of all rights to practice in the state.

It's not clear, though, if that's just in general or what this doctor may face.

I couldn't find an article about it on CNN, but MSNBC even has a video to go along with it:

Hopefully there will be enough of a public outcry so as to help influence this decision.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 05:24 PM
This fat woman is looking for money and has a chance here. Perhaps she should put all her attention into losing weight instead of going after a doctor who apparently cares!

Maybe she couldnt buy her cake, soda, creamhorns, and the 3 pounds of bacon for breakfast every day. This made her mad.

And thats only the breakfast menu.

new topics

top topics


log in