8.26.2005

Political Correctness Can Kill You

We've often heard it said that "the truth hurts." It doesn't take a whole lotta living to experience that reality.

Growing up, if our parents did a decent job, we learned about boundaries and felt consequences if we disrespected or disregarded those boundaries. Going to school we learned that if we didn't do our homework, our grades suffered. In the workplace, it is unacceptable to show up whenever we please or fail to meet deadlines. While there may be some exceptions for the homeschooled or the self-employed, the same principles apply. If we fail to meet the expectations, there is some consequence. Not merely for punishment sake but in the hope for future change, for everyone's good...if it's done right.

You might think that I'm merely stating the obvious. One woman in New Hampshire, however, does not agree. You see, this woman's doctor told her that she needed to lose weight. Dr. Terry Bennett said it this way: “I told a fat woman she was obese...I tried to get her attention. I told her, 'You need to get on a program, join a group of like-minded people and peel off the weight that is going to kill you.'"

The woman filed a complaint with the state claiming that his advice proved more hurtful than helpful. Now, I can completely understand how horrible it is to see an insensitive doctor. I've seen one or two in my day. It's terrible. However, at the end of the day, if I had to choose between a doctor sugar-coating health issues and one with no sensitivity, no "bedside manner," I want the truth whatever form it comes in. My health is my responsibility, not any doctor's. His job is to diagnose, prescribe and/or treat medical issues.

As much as we hear "the truth hurts," we also hear "the truth will set you free." What we don't hear very often is that the truth can't set you free until it first hurts you. We creatures of habit and lovers of comfort often need to feel truth's pain to move us to change. Perhaps that's something Dr. Bennett understands.

If there were ever a story about missing the point, this is it. And, as such, it's a sad story, for everyone involved. I hope the doctor doesn't stop telling the truth. I hope that the patient begins to take action to improve her health, including forgiving the doctor for his choice of words and thanking him for relaying a painful truth.

I also hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Don't eat too much! :)

7 Comments:

At 8/26/2005 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous David said...

That complaint she filed started with a subcommittee of New Hampshire's Medical medical review board which wanted to send some sort of confidential censure letter to the doctor. That wasn't good enough for the full committee. They decided to send the complaint to the state's attorney general instead. You would think that some lawyer up there would have thrown this ridiculous complaint in the trash can but they decided that the doctor should take some touchy feely course on how to be more sensitive when he tells them that obesity will kill them. I've had my share of issues with doctors over lack of bedside manner, but to actually take it this far is ridiculous and a total waste of taxpayer time and money.

 
At 8/26/2005 01:13:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I had a doctor once tell me I neeeded to lose weight and I didn't sue. I lost weight. And I felt better.

 
At 8/26/2005 02:10:00 PM, Blogger shelbymiddleton said...

I heard about this on the news and watched an interview with this doctor. Apparently, he said something about how she may lose her attractiveness in the eyes of her husband, but he said it sort of generally, like "this happens to many women and eventually their husband's arent as attracted to them anymore"...something of the sort. Yeah, that's not his place to say necessarily, but boy we will sue for any reason won't we?
What a strong statement of truth Lores, that the truth HAS to hurt you before it sets you free. That's so true. This woman is obviously acting on the first part of that, being hurt, and not working through it for the freedom.

 
At 8/26/2005 05:55:00 PM, Blogger void said...

wah-wah-wah-wah. And pointing fingers - that's our society. Of course, the morphine of the masses is the network news.

It's good to know someone out there still "thinks" and understands "personal accountability".

 
At 8/27/2005 01:20:00 AM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I think I'll pig out this weekend and keep pigging out until I'm safely in the obese category. Then, when my doc tells me I'm obese, I can sue him in order to pay for a gastric bypass surgery and live in luxury from the leftover money.

 
At 8/27/2005 03:43:00 AM, Blogger mlwhitt said...

Is there no longer ANY personal accountablity in this country? You go to the Dr. to find out what's wrong and just because you don't like what you hear, does that give you the right to sue? That is so crazy. Like Mark said, I too have went to the Dr. in the past and was told I was overweight, or actually in the Dr. words Fat. Never once did I think about suing. Being told to lose weight because you are fat is totally different than say a Dr. telling you that he refuses to see you because you are fat.

People really need to start owning up. And no it's not the food companies that are wanting to make you fat. All the want is to sell their products. It's not their job to slap you on the wrist everytime you overeat their products. Come on get real, have some backbone and look in the mirror. Just because a person calls you fat, doesn't give you the right to sue them. It's not like they called you a child molester or murder for no reason.

 
At 8/28/2005 03:15:00 PM, Blogger Doug said...

So, McDonald's, say, has no corporate responsibility for pushing its products on kids -- even toddlers -- in its advertisements, marketing, playgrounds, et al?

Not saying there's no such thing as personal responsibility -- I'm a vegetarian, and I LOVE meat, so that takes some effort. And I stay in shape (so far -- 35!), which also takes effort.

I believe a balance is called for. Funny how some social conservatives pick and choose which industries to go after...

 

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