Blog | Thursday, August 25, 2011

Talking about obesity without getting sued

The Washington Times reports, "The leader of the anti-obesity lawsuit movement is threatening physicians-in-training with lawsuits if they don’t warn obese patients about their excessive weight. George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf III, who has led efforts to sue fast-food chains for contributing to America’s extra weight, is scheduled to speak at the annual convention for the American Medical Student Association."

A lawyer warns of obesity suits. He is telling medical students that they need to warn their patients of the risks of their obesity. Not long ago we spoke of a doctor being sued for the way he told a patient she was obese.

Is the bottom line no matter what you do, as a doctor you will be sued?

Maybe as a public service we need to write a legal disclaimer for doctor:
Dear potential patient,

At the advice of counsel, we have been urged to let you know that you are fat. Being fat can make you prematurely die. Please do not be offended in any way. This is a public service message.

I am glad that I am not an internist.

This post by John Di Saia, MD, appeared at Get Better Health, a network of popular health bloggers brought together by Val Jones, MD. Better Health's mission is to support and promote health care professional bloggers, provide insightful and trustworthy health commentary, and help to inform health policy makers about the provider point of view on health care reform, science, research and patient care.