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Fat-shaming and malpractice

Aug 12, 2017 | Failure to Diagnose

New York residents rely on their physicians to provide them with appropriate medical care. Unfortunately, there are cases in which physicians may allow their own prejudices to interfere with their ability to provide appropriate treatment. Obese and overweight individuals are often victims of this.

A study showed that poor health outcomes for overweight and obese people can at least partially be attributed to physician fat-shaming. Individuals who are not feeling well or who notice worrisome symptoms may delay visiting the doctor as they do not want to be lectured about their weight. Those who do seek medical care may be dismissed by a physician who attributes symptoms to excess weight.

Unfortunately, either scenario can result in a delayed diagnosis and treatment. Since a doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness can result in unnecessary pain and suffering for the patient, a worsened condition, and possible disability or death, the tendency to shame or ignore the concerns of the overweight is a significant oversight on the part of the medical community.

In the face of a growing obesity problem in the United States, medical experts now agree that is important to educate physicians on how to sensitively treat obese and overweight individuals. This process, however, may take time, and there are currently many people who have suffered as a result.

Individuals who believe that weight bias has negatively affected their medical care and has resulted in harm to them might want to meet with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss their situations. The attorney can, with the assistance of medical experts, make a determination as to whether the actions of the physician were a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care.