Ohio residents seeking medical treatment may find themselves delaying surgery or a procedure because of their body weight. According to ABC News Today.com, some physicians have refused to perform an operation until after a patient has lost some weight.
Stigma regarding an individual’s weight may result in delaying visits to a doctor’s office. Reportedly, women also experience more issues involving a misdiagnosis than men because of an apparent greater bias towards their weight.
A second opinion could result in a more accurate diagnosis
When a physician examines an overweight patient, his or her bias towards a particular weight range may affect a diagnosis. For example, claiming that weight loss would result in less pain may not provide a realistic approach to a patient’s condition.
Mayo Clinic researchers discovered that only 12% of the second opinions sought by patients resulted in a confirmation of their doctor’s original diagnosis. While 66% of the patients received a refined diagnosis, 21% received an entirely new clinical determination.
Medical treatment because of body shame may lead to problems
A study reported by ABC News found that only 5% of the women with a normal body weight delayed receiving medical attention. The study also found that 35% of the obese women in the study postponed their health care needs.
Female patients who feel uncomfortable about visiting a gynecologist have delayed annual exams. When an exam detects cancer in its early stages, however, a health care practitioner could possibly provide treatment to help stop its progression.
Physicians owe a duty of care to provide patients with an accurate diagnosis. When a doctor knew or should have known that a patient required medical attention, and also negligently caused a patient to delay it, the harmed individual may have cause to file a malpractice suit.