South Florida Ob-Gyns Refusing Overweight Patients

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Here’s a fascinating trend piece out of South Florida. A few ob-gyn doctors there are refusing to treat overweight patients who are otherwise healthy. The Sun-Sentinel polled 105 practices and found that 15 have set weight cut-offs starting at 200 pounds or so.

Why? The risk of complications. Some doctors say that excess weight can lead to so much risk in childbirth that the women should begin their pregnancies with specialists who are experts in obesity.

This is not an illegal thing to do but medical ethicists do say it’s cause for concern. One doctor says the proper thing to do is to never turn down someone prior to at least seeing them. If you must, you can refer them to a specialist as needed.

But there’s a force stronger than medical ethics or the law, and that’s legal liability. Apparently South Florida has particularly high rates for medical malpractice insurance and a high number of lawsuits.

With liability costs rising — and with no tort reform action on the horizon from lawmakers — overweight patients will bear the brunt.

How many more problems will be associated with outlandish liability insurance costs before reform is made? It’s getting ridiculous.