OB-GYNs in South Florida Reject Overweight and Obese Patients

Imagine being turned away from seeing an OB-GYN because you didn’t meet the weight requirement.

Well, if you live in South Florida you may want to hop on the scale before heading to the doctor as a number of practices are rejecting patients that are overweight or obese.

While some doctors argue that their equipment is not able to accommodate these women, others admit it is because these patients are at a higher risk of complications.

Doctors are permitted to drop patients if they believe they lack the medial skills to treat them, “but decisions about patients typically are made after assessing the individual’s condition during an exam, not by ruling out an entire group,” said Dr. Robert Yelverton, a board member of the Florida Obstetric Gynecologic Society.

If a woman needs to see a specialist because of her weight that’s one thing, but denying a woman care simply because she is overweight or obese is discrimination.

“Overweight people need doctors. I don’t know where a patient in that situation would go if every practice had that policy,” said Yelverton.

A doctors job is meant to heal and provide care for patients, not alienate an entire group of people who may need care the most.

What do you think? Should OB-GYNs reject patients based on their weight?

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Photo by D Sharon Pruitt used under a Creative Commons license - http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/3209939998/


Jo S.
Jo S2 years ago

That's ridiculous!

Ellie Damann
.6 years ago


Becky S.
Becky S6 years ago

INSANE!! And I don't believe for a second it should be allowed because of increased risk. Pretty soon they'll want to stop seeing any "at risk" patient adn then where will we be?? What's the point of having a doctor who only treats healthy people??

Sarah M.
Sarah M6 years ago

Excuse me?! This is ridiculous!

Betsy M.
Betsy M6 years ago

I am not surprised by this lack of professional integrity. With wonderful, notable exceptions, the profession is in decline.

Mary Latela
Mary Latela6 years ago

Just because some turn away "unacceptable" patients is no reason to give up. It's time for professionals to step up, take a professional risk, and treat those who need treatment. You can't turn away someone who comes for help... in any sphere... if you can't help, you find someone who can. This is my simple - not simplistic - logic.

Victoria M.
Past Member 6 years ago

instead of turning them away they could use it as an opportunity to help her reach and maintain a healthier weight for her and baby. consulting with a nutritionist and perhaps some light exercise. if they really cared about people they wouldnt turn her away.

Giovanna M.
Giovanna M6 years ago

I guess these doctors swore the hypocrite oath instead of the hippocratic one.

So about 60% of the population is overweight/obese and the equipment is not ready to deal with them? And fat people are fat because they want to, right?

I understand in some special cases the degree of obesity someone suffers may prevent her (in this case of Ob/Gyn) from making normal life. Since she's already in an unusual and dangerous situation, doctors should do their best to help out, not to kick her out. In the worst of cases, provide assitance at home (as she will have furniture that can accomodate her).

Many doctors are overweight (and bad role models for several health issues, inlcuding smoking). And I insist over 60% of the US population suffers from overweight. Maybe it's about time we adapted the "equipment" to the patients' needs.

Extremely thin women, especially if they're professional athletes, have pregnancy complications and miscarriages. Does this mean they'll be kiced out too?

And diabetics can have very severe complications affecting their kidneys, heart, blood pressure and neural system simultaneously. Maybe we should kick them out too since they have a higher risk of complications.

And we call ourselves humane.

Sandra F.
Sandra Frederiks6 years ago

Pathetic. Did those Dr.'s get their license from a candy package? They need to be taken to task by their medical board and have their license revoked.of course, one might expect these excuses for doctors to be a perfect weight and have no health issues themselves. Why oh why is misogyny so prevalent in the USA?
All the more reason to encourage the use of midwives.

Virginia Thomson
Virginia Thomson6 years ago

Doctors refusing to treat anyone is quite simply outrageous. It is perhaps slightly more understandable if the individual is asking for medical help over and over while still doing something like smoking or abusing alcohol and the help they are asking for is for a smoking or alcohol related illness or problem.