It’s not about the complications

I didn’t think I was going to write about this, mostly because other people already have, and have done an excellent job, but I changed my mind.

If this is primarily about risk of complications, then why are women over a certain weight the only category that these OBGYNs refuse to see?

Are these doctors refusing to see any women over 35 or under 20? (Women over 35 would not only be more likely to experience complications from pregnancy, but breast and cervical cancer.) Women who have twins or other multiples? Women who have had previous cesarean sections? Women who’ve had gestational diabetes or preeclampsia but are under the weight cutoff? Do they have ANY other categories that they refuse to even see because of increased risk of complications? If not, then it’s not really about the complications.

And kudos to DebraSY for saying that it’s not really about the lawsuits. Let’s not be so quick to excuse them by basically saying society made them do it.

The fact that the cutoff is based on absolute weight, not BMI, makes me think that there may be something to the claim that their [shoddy] equipment will not accommodate heavier women. I don’t really have much sympathy for them in that case, though. If your exam table won’t support 200 lbs, it’s a pretty shoddy table. The way most people are shaped, 200 lbs is not even won’t-fit-in-an-airplane-seat territory. If your equipment is inadequate for a significant portion of your patients, you need to buy some better equipment.

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3 Responses to It’s not about the complications

  1. Dee says:

    200 pounds is in my normal weight range, and I’m 5′-4″, so I’m not tall. Not only is 200 pounds not a problem with airplane seats, it’s barely plus-sized. I wear a 16W, an American 18 misses, and a British 18/20 at that weight.

  2. Hey, the famous DeeLeigh is commenting on my blog!
    Yeah, my peak weight was 199 (as measured by doctor’s offices–no accurate home scale–so I’m sure I was at least 200 at some point), and I usually wore a size 16 when I was in the 190s. I’m pretty evenly fatted, and 5 feet 5.25 inches, so I wasn’t sure if someone who was significantly shorter and more pear-shaped than me might have trouble with narrow seats at 200 lbs.

  3. Dee says:

    I didn’t know I was famous! Anyway, I agree with you that it’s not really about complications or lawsuits – it’s pure bias. On the other hand (as others have said) if someone’s going to find my body disgusting and has a bias against anyone who’s larger than average, then I don’t want them as a health care provider. If I was under their cutoff weight (as I often have been), I might avoid practices with that policy, assuming that they’re assholes and/or incompetent.

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