As you might know, I am fat. I also deserve health care.
As some of you may have noticed, I’m really rather fat. I mention it only because it’s relevant — it has a significant impact on my life; people treat me differently because I am fat. Or, in some cases, refuse to treat me. Which is what happened recently to Ida Davidson, who was turned away from her new primary care physician. The stated reason? Ida Davidson weighs too much for the doctor’s office to accommodate her.
In fact, Dr. Helen Carter of Shrewsbury, MA (if you were curious and wanted a name to add to the list of Doctors To Avoid) claims that her office has seen three consecutive injuries from trying to provide care for people weighing over 250 pounds.
That’s injuries to patients, by the way. Fat people who go to her office tend to get hurt.
Going to the doctor is already fraught for many fat people. And a lot of fat people just don’t go. As a group, we’re more prone to avoid medical treatment for fear of shaming. People yammer on about how we should lose weight for our health but then create an atmosphere where we really actually are afraid to participate in health care. Because that’s logic, right?