Well, this doc's bedside manner could use improving, but he has a point

 - 
11/23/2009

Dr. Earl Sunderhaus told an overweight patient she was fat. His medical license is now up for review.

Sunderhaus is an eye doctor. The patient complained that he poked her thigh and told her she is fat. Yes, this seems a bit, shall we say, inappropriate. He also scolded her as irresponsible for being unemployed and relying on taxpayers to pay for another pregnancy. Also inappropriate.

But, let's back up a minute, here. The patient is overweight, with diabetes and is pregnant. Is she insured? Uninsured? On Medicaid? If she is on government assistance, do taxpayers have the right to expect her to take personal responsibility for her health? And for the health of her child(ren)?

I suppose the point of this incident is that the doctor didn't behave professionally and that's where we should be concerned (concerned, but hardly outraged). But with trillion dollar health care reform looming, with a possible public health option included (for which I have no opinion yet), questions like this are going to continue to arise. Where do we draw the line between Big Brother and wasting money?

Theresa Flaherty

Comments

Theresa,
I agree with your position on this issue. It is long overdue that personal responsibility becomes "popular" as opposed to an exception.