Sunday, June 21, 2009

Is Obesity a Disability?

At the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, doctors discussed whether obesity is a disability that should be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. They said no.

According to ABC News, the doctors' rationale was that labelling obesity as a disability could restrict communication with their patients. They fear they could be reprimanded if they offended a patient by telling the truth: "You're overweight, you're at risk, and you need to lose weight."

The AMA's resolution states: "We do not want to have this limit the ability to have doctors talk about a very serious condition. If obesity is designated as a disability, physicians could be sued or reprimanded for discrimination under the Americans with Disability Act if a patient takes offense at the physician discussing obesity. Therefore be it resolved that our American Medical Association not support the effort to make obesity a disability."
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