14% of ob-gyns in South Florida have begun turning down obese patients.
Women who weigh more than 200 pounds will start finding it harder to find an ob-gyn as more begin turning down obese patients. Some cited inadequate equipment to handle heavier weights, while others said they didn't want to deal with the higher risk of complications (and presumably higher risk of lawsuits).
While medical ethics experts have pointed out the obvious problem, fatties aren't a protected class. So long as doctors aren't discriminating on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or infectious disease, they can turn down whatever patients they don't want. But, with the way America's waistline is going, most doctors will find it impossible to refuse all obese patients.
This will almost certainly lead to some sort of law suit, or a push to make the obese a protected class. But, what if rather than excluding the obese, a doctor simply limited their patient list to those who were fit?
It's on ethically shaky ground to turn away all obese patients, but what if a doctor, say a particularly skilled and in-demand doctor, wanted to only treat very fit patients? Is it at all unethical for a doctor to say that if you want to be his patient, you are not allowed to smoke, must do at least 3 hours of cardio each week, avoid high salt foods, and keep your body fat below a certain percentage?
Or, to make a legal analogy, wouldn't you want to be able to drop a client who continuously disrupts proceedings, pisses off the judge, and gets public intox arrests while out on bond for a burglary arrest?