BP #4 – Negligent Obedience or Negligent Obesity?



An article was recently released by The New York Times stating that obese americans do not receive as good of quality of healthcare in comparison to non-obese americans.

One “obese” patient, Patty Nece, decided to visit the doctor for hip trouble. Instead, the doctor disregarded all of her comments, refused to examine her at all, and proceeded to say “Let me cut to the chase. You need to lose weight”. Little did he know that she was on a winning streak and recently lost 70 pounds. The doctor had diagnosed her as having “obesity pain” and moved on to the next person. Patty later found out (from a different doctor) that she had progressive scoliosis. A condition that is completely unrelated to obesity.

I had a hard time deciding which type of “obedience” this would be. I originally thought that this was an example of negligent obedience. I am very aware that many ongoing health problems are caused because of obesity in patients, but that does not mean that these patients deserve any less quality of healthcare due to the number body mass index shows. In Patty Nece’s case, that doctor failed to take due care. He could have taken the extra ten minutes to give her an appropriate examination, but instead decided to belittle the patient and give her a quick diagnosis. Completely ignoring the fact that she had already lost 70 pounds (which is a HUGE accomplishment)!

I also contemplated calling this malicious obedience because he is purposely and maliciously avoiding the real diagnosis. In this case, the doctor’s duty was to go see the patient and make a diagnosis. That is exactly what he did… just not the right diagnosis, without an exam, and in a malicious way.


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