Transcript for Overweight Patient: Too Heavy for Care?
We're going to turn now to that stunning headline out of new england. The patient who says a doctor turned her away because she weighed too much. Here's abc's john schriffen. Reporter: Like so many americans, ida is a little overweight and admits she could lose a few pounds. But when she recently went looking for a new primary care physician, ida said one doctor turned her away because of her size. She was telling me that she couldn't care for me because i was over 200 pounds. I mean, I've never heard anything like that. I thought doctors were there to help. Reporter: That doctor is this woman,en carter. The doctor says her office can no longer take on heavy patients, after several members of her staff were injured working with overweight people. Some of her patients were grandfathered in. Dr. Carter says overweight patients would be better off with a nearby specialist. There's an obesity center over at umass that is much better staffed and has more resources than I do. Reporter: And dr. Carter may be within her rights. According to the american medical association's ethical guidelines, stating, quote, both patients and physicians should be able to exercise freedom in choosing with whom to enter into a patient-physician relationship. But medical ethicist arthur caplan says just because it's legal doesn't make it right. When you say you're going to be a health care provider, a doctor, a nurse, I think you got to go the extra mile and then some, even when there's inconvenience, might come at additional cost. Reporter: And we reached out to dr. Carter late today. She claims ida was not turned away, but instead chose not to return after being informed of the new policy. The doctor wants her patients to understand the financial burdens that go along with caring for overweight patients, especially for a small practice. You were telling me ida still looking for a doctor. I'm sure there's somebody out there that's going to help her. Thank you, john. Comi up on "world news,"
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