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Should Doctors Institute Weight Limits for Patients?

Dr. Helen Carter is no longer accepting patients who weigh over 200 pounds or have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30. What do you think about her new rule?

Should doctors be able to institute weight limits for patients as a way of avoiding injuries, or is this discrimination against people who may need help? 

The question stems from Dr. Helen Carter, a Worcester-based doctor is no longer accepting new patients who are obese, according to WBUR—specifically, patients who weigh over 200 pounds or have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30.

Carter told WBUR that her new policy is "self-preservation," instituted because another doctor in her practice had been seriously injured pulling out the exam table foot rest for a patient who weighed 280 pounds.

The policy isn't discriminatory, Carter told WBUR, because patients have access to other doctors in the area, including some facilities that cater to patients who need to tackle weight loss. She is also not dismissing any current patients who don't meet her standards, saying that the policy "give them a goal ... the problem with obesity is it has become socially acceptable." 

Read the full report at WBUR and tell us: Do you think it's fair for Carter to institute such a policy at her private practice for safety reasons? Or does it discriminate against people who need help from a doctor? Tell us your reaction in the comments below.

[Editor's note: This item is posted on all Boston Patch sites.]

Carol J. Thompson September 13, 2012 at 06:38 PM
There are many reasons why people become overweight including medications they have to take. Diabetes cannot always be controlled with diet and exercise before or after you get it.
karen harris September 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM
If a doctor is that insensitive I wouldn't want to go to her for anything!
Just a person! September 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM
check this out ! http://www.bennettllc.com/index_Page438.htm did you know that? Thanks CNC
Mary Jane Nevin September 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM
This person refuses to treat a patient in need because they dont like or approve of the patient's physical condition??? How sad that this person actually calls themself a doctor and is licensed to treat real patients!!! People with any common sense will run as fast as they can to get away from this doctor!...as they should!!
justmaybe September 14, 2012 at 09:45 AM
If a lawyer can refuse to represent a client, why can a dr (which is far more valuable to society) be required by law or oath to endanger herself?

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