Target: Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services
Goal: Criminalize fat-shaming from medical practitioners.
Many patients, almost all of them women, have reported instances of their doctors blaming any symptoms they report on their being overweight. However, this has not always been the case; one woman nearly died of lung cancer due to her doctor failing to recognize her symptoms as such, and other women have been told completely unrelated illnesses are caused by their weight. Pregnant women who are larger in size are often forced to undergo cesarean sections, told that giving birth naturally will harm their baby or their heart.
Obesity is a major problem in America, there is no denying this fact. Unfortunately, concern over obesity may be clouding the judgment of doctors, especially in the cases of larger women. Weight can certainly be a factor in medical conditions, and obesity does lead to greater health problems, but a doctor’s job is to properly use all the information they have been given to make a correct diagnosis. People put their trust in doctors to keep them well, and dismissing a woman’s report of symptoms due to her size is not only fat-shaming, it is unethical.
Too many women have reported their health being put in serious danger due to suspected fat-shaming from their doctors. We cannot allow this to continue. We must ensure that every patient, regardless of size, has the right to a proper diagnosis and treatment for whatever their true condition is. Sign this petition to outlaw weight-based discrimination from doctors to patients.
Dear Inspector General Levinson,
Many patients, most of them women, have been reporting cases of weight-related shaming and dismissal from their doctors. These patients come to their medical practitioner with their symptoms, but are brushed off and told they’ll “feel better if they lose weight,” even if they are nowhere close to obese. This has unfortunately led to women nearly dying of more severe illnesses unrelated to their weight, or being afraid to see a doctor when something is legitimately wrong.
The need to combat obesity in this country is a great one indeed, as obesity leads to worse health problems down the line and can be the cause many existing complications. However, that is no excuse for a doctor to dismiss a patient’s report of symptoms that may be entirely unrelated to their weight.
You must outlaw this trend among medical practitioners. A doctor’s job is to use the information they are given to make a correct diagnosis so that the patient can be treated and have a safe recovery. Dismissing reports based on weight is unethical, and must be stopped at all costs. Please issue a ban on medical fat-shaming now.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steven Pisano