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Obtaining Respectful Medical Care

There are some wonderful resources for finding healthcare professionals who won't just see you in terms of your weight, and/or for educating the folks you already work with:

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Here is a sample letter written by someone fed up with the typical treatment she received by doctors:

Dear Doctor (or other Health Professional),

I am a fat person who has come to you for treatment of a specific health problem. I expect and demand adequate medical attention. Please give me the same type of examination and treatment that you would give a thin person and do not automatically assume that my problem is weight-related.

I have not come to you regarding my weight, because I know that there is
no known cure for "obesity" (I have put obesity in quotes because weight
is a continuum, and as long as my personal weight causes me no direct medical problems, I refuse to define my body weight as a disease). All existing diets and weight loss techniques work only 1-2% of the time on any permanent basis. Since I have wasted much of my life on numerous unsuccessful attempts to lose weight, I have reached the logical conclusion that I am one of the 98% for whom dieting doesn't work. I refuse to endanger my health by taking any further part in the yo-yo syndrome of losing and regaining weight.

I did not come to you for a lecture. Please spend your time instead reviewing the medical research on "obesity" and dieting (or voluntary starvation). Re-examine your assumptions. Studies show that on average fat people eat the same same amounts and types of food as "normal" (i.e. thin) people. Most longevity statistics compiled have been done on fat Americans who have spent a lifetime dieting and living in a stressful, disciminatory environment. Yes despite studies such as the one done in Roseto, PA., only one factor (the fat) is blamed for people's ill health.

Please throw out any height-weight charts you own, especially ones compiled by insurance companies to justify collecting more money from fat
people. The Framingham report has show how inaccurate these charts are. At any rate, I expect my health to be evaluated on an individual basis by  you and not by such a piece of paper.

Always use a large size (42 cm.) blood pressure cuff on me and any fat
patient. Dr. George Mann has reported that a standard size cuff can give a
falsely high reading of 8-12mm of mercury. This inaccuracy alone accounts for the large part of the statistics linking high weight with high blood pressure.

If you are unable to agree to these conditions, I shall take my business

Your Fat Patient,

****"Dear Doctor (or other Health Professional)" is from the May 1981, Issue #4, of "F.A.T. - Feminist Fat Activists Together." It was submitted/published anonymously, and may be copied, distributed and used for free distribution and personal use. This statement should be left on when copying/distributing, crediting F.A.T. - Feminist Fat Activists Together, Issue #4, May 1981 anytime when copying & distributing it.****

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Last updated: March 05, 2011.