Report: Doctors Refusing to Treat Overweight Patients

May 17, 2011 - 7:34 AM

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: 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.

"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.

See Newspaper Roundup and Read South Florida Sun-Sentinel report