Monday, August 22, 2005

"You're Obese"....What Next?

Imagine you're in your doctor's office having an annual physical and the doctor tells you that you're obese and obesity may lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux and even might make it hard for you to find another partner should you outlive your spouse.

What do you do?

Well, for a woman in New Hampshire, her response was to file a complaint with the state Medical Board. She was offended that her doctor told her the truth! When her doctor learned she was upset, he wrote her a letter to apologize to her, but that wasn't enough.

Now you'd think the Medical Board would tell this woman 'hey, you are obese and the things the doctor said may happen because you're obese are all evidence-based' - but that's not what happened. Instead, the medical board is pursuing this case with an investigation.

[T]he board asked the Attorney General's Administrative Prosecution Unit to investigate and seek a resolution to the complaint. A settlement agreement was proposed that would have had Bennett (the doctor) attend a medical education course and acknowledge he made a mistake. He rejected the proposal.

"I've made many errors in my lifetime. Telling someone the truth is not one of them," Bennett said.

A public hearing is likely to be scheduled by the board.

I don't know about you, but to me this is a waste of resources and a waste of time. Doesn't the Medical Board of New Hampshire have some real issues to investigate, like physician incompetence or dishonesty? Do they really have nothing else to do that this is something they actually have time to pursue?

Have we as a society become afraid of the truth so much that we're willing to file complaints against doctors who tell us the truth, because the truth hurts our or someone else's feelings?

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