WBUR, August 31, 2012

A Massachusetts doctor's office has instituted a new policy: no new obese patients who weigh over 200 pounds. "I had no other choice," said Dr. Helen Carter. "It's self-preservation." Carter, the Worcester-based internist, who has been practicing medicine for 20 years, says she's not discriminating against fat people, rather the policy is more related to safety. In the spring, Carter said, a physician in the practice got a serious neck injury while pulling out the exam-table foot rest for a 284-pound patient. The injury remains painful, she said, and now prevents the doctor from performing pap smears because she can’t bend fully. A new electric exam table costs between $4,000 and $7,000, Carter said, which is at the moment prohibitively expensive.

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