August 26, 2005

NH doc under scrutiny for trying to save woman's life

Earlier this week, the Trust for American's Health issued a new report on obesity in Anmerica with the disturbing news that about 25% of American adults are obese. Health Daily News Central has more information on the details of this report. We've also previously blogged about obesity and workers comp.

About the same time this report was released, the news broke that Dr. Tony Bennett is being investigated by New Hampshire's Attorney General and the New Hampshire Board of Medicine for offending one of his patients by telling her she was obese and needed to lose weight. He refuses to apologize for his remarks and faces possible disciplinary action ranging from a reprimand to revocation of his license.

We don't know exactly what the doctor said or the manner in which he said it, but we have to wonder if this woman isn't taking the state's motto of "live free or die" a little too much to heart. Should a doctor only tell patients the health information that they want to hear? We don't think so, and would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

Reactions from the blogosphere
Obesity is a well defined condition. It responds to weight loss. How can this possibly have caused a stir? -- DB's Medical Rants

He was "reported" for telling a patient the truth. If we cannot tell patients that they are obese - and that they should do something about it - then can we tell patients to stop smoking, or stop drinking - or what about crack cocaine? -- DB's Medical Rants

When did rudeness become a matter for attorneys general? -- Medpundit

The NH Medical Board either a) has information about this that's way more serious than that alreayd announced, or b) is filled with utter morons without enough do.
Time will tell. --

... But if the reporting is accurate, it would seem to be another piece of evidence that contradicts the frequent excuse of tort-reform opponents that aggressive medical malpractice lawsuits are needed to compensate for under-vigilant medical boards. -- Overlawyered.

Kevin, M.D. has posted more reactions from the blogosphere



Unbelievable! Next all the parents will be arrested for grounding their kids for bad behavior.

Unbelievable! If it was Heart Disease, that would be okay but Obese is a bad word. You are what you eat.

Perhaps the good doctor could have described her as 'exessively Rubinesque'... Just a thought.

Accoring to this article at

The good Dr. Bennett wasn't quite as gracious and caring as we might have thought.

The article quotes the complaint-

"Letís face it, if your husband were to die tomorrow, who would want you?" the state Board of Medicine says Dr. Terry Bennett told the overweight patient in June 2004.

"Well, men might want you, but not the types you want to want you. Might even be a black guy," it quoted him as saying, based on the womanís complaint.

Clearly this isn't what anyone thought he might have said when they were defending him.


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This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on August 26, 2005 6:28 AM.

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