So apparently Dr. Terrible is getting a run for his money in my all time list of creeps. Meet Dr. Irresponsible and Dr. Hatemonger.
So yesterday, a number of people told me about a video posted on Kevin MD that was horrible beyond the normal bonds of horrible. (Sorry, no power on earth will compel me to link to that ish. Some things deserve exactly zero clicks.) And the first thought that came into my mind is, “This video is going to kill people. Literally. People are going to see this video and they are going to not go to the doctor and they are going to die.”
You see this video, created by Waqas Khan or (Who calls himself Dr. I Am Sorry) was one of the most nightmare cases of bigotry, prejudice and racism I have seen in a long time. (Again, not willing to give clicks here. Google it if you must.) In this video (which is part of a series of videos of unrestrained bigotry by the way) we see Miss Fatty going to the doctor. In this short video we get to see all of the following tropes played out:
- Fat people are slow.
- Fat people are pushy.
- Fat people eat nothing but junk food.
- Fat people are completely incapable of understanding what they are eating.
- Fat people are lazy.
- Fat people have done nothing to try to lose weight.
- Fat people are stupid.
- Fat women will never find a man.
- Fat people believe that there is a magic pill that will make them thin.
- Fat people are guaranteed to get diabetes.
- Fat people understand nothing about their bodies or their health.
- Fat people never exercise.
- Fat people don’t do anything their doctors tell them to do.
Oh and by the way, did I mention that Ms. Fatty is African American? So all those stereotypes, yup, you can apply them ALL to African American women while you’re at it. And you can add:
- African American Women are fat.
- African American Women are bossy.
A lot of this is punctuated by soliloquies by Dr. I Am Sorry. (Or “Dr. You Should Be Sorry and I Predict Will Be Soon” as I call him) spouting anger and bile and vitriol and bigotry towards his imaginary non-compliant patients that make it clear he has nothing but disgust and hatred towards them.
Okay. Now let’s get to the killing people part.
We know from several sources, including the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity that weight stigma among American medical professionals is rampant. In one study 24 percent of nurses reported being repulsed by obese patients and 12 percent preferred not to touch fat patients. In another study, 48 percent of nurses reported being uncomfortable treating fat patients and 31 percent reported a preference for not having to care for obese patients at all. Yet another study involving doctors found that two-thirds reported that their obese patients lacked self-control, and 39% stated that their obese patients were lazy.
Prejudice towards obese people in medical settings is well documented and you can bet that patients are aware of it. Naturally for some fat people, this awareness makes them more fearful about going to the doctor. In some cases it makes them delay going to the doctor or avoid going to the doctor altogether. In one study, over 12 percent of women said they canceled or delayed doctor appointments due to concerns about how they would be treated regarding their weight. In this same study, embarrassment over weight and concerns about how the doctor and staff would treat them was cited as the number one reason among women for cancelling or delaying appointments. It is also well documented that when people delay or stop going to the doctor, they get sicker and they die sooner.
So we have a situation where:
- Doctors, nurses and medical students have a demonstrated bias against fat people.
- Fat people are aware of this bias.
- The awareness of this bias causes fat people to delay or avoid going to the doctor.
- The number one prescription of doctors for people is weight loss even though there is no medically proven (outside of amputation) method to achieve this for most patients–at least not long term, and the weight loss “cure” suggested by doctors is more likely to leave patients sicker, sadder and fatter than before.
And the solution suggested by these two “doctors” is to create (Dr. Waqas Khan) and publicize (Dr. Kevin) a video that shows a fat African American woman actively demonstrating every stereotypical view that medical professionals typically hold about African American women and fat women while simultaneously demonstrating the medical profession’s hatred and disgust towards these very patients? How is this not convincing even more people of size not to go to the doctor? How is this not eventually killing people who have decided not to go to the doctor? How is Hippocrates not jumping out of his grave to take away their medical licenses?
It’s time for doctors to realize that holding a lot of unsubstantiated and biased views about people of size is lazy, unethical, dangerous and deadly. And it is way past time for doctors to realize that posting a pile of hate that pours lighter fluid on an already painful and problematic situation for a little click bait is beyond irresponsible–it can be fatal.
In short, shame on you doctors. Shame. On. YOU.
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)