Here in Cow Hampshire, we have a doctor named Terry Bennett. Dr. Bennett runs a family practice, and has a reputation for giving his patients the blunt facts. And that has gotten him into trouble.
Like a lot of people, Dr. Bennett has noticed with concern the rising obesity of Americans. (blush) And as a doctor, he sees it as his duty to get his patients to live more healthy lives.
In that spirit, he told one of his patients to her face that she was obese, she would most likely outlive her obese husband, and she would probably end up alone because men tend to not be attracted to obese women. He also spelled out for her just some of the many other health problems that obese people face.
The patient didn’t take his advice to heart. Instead, she took it to the state medical board.
Dr. Bennett responded to the formal complaint by saying, in essence, “yeah, I said it, but it’s all true.” He also wrote an apology to the woman.
That isn’t enough for the board. They’ve referred the matter to the state Attorney General’s office, which is considering ordering Dr. Bennett to attend an educational course and admit he was wrong. Dr. Bennett is having nothing to do with that plan.
Another of Dr. Bennett’s patients is organizing a petition drive in support of him. One of the signers is quoted:
Melinda Haney of Rochester has been Bennett’s patient for 15 years. She had more than 100 people sign a petition asking Lynch not to re-appoint Ayotte as attorney general because of the investigation.
Like the woman who filed the complaint, Haney is obese.
“For 15 years Dr. Bennett would tell me ‘Mindy, you’re overweight and you smoke,'” she said. ” ‘You are going to get diabetes or cancer or have a stroke or heart attack.’ The whole time I was saying ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m young, those things only happen to someone else.'”
She said now she is a diabetic, has had cancer and failed a stress test terribly.
I am dumbfounded at this anonymous complainer. She apparently feels she has the right to be obese and not be called that, not even by the doctor she is seeing to help her live out a healthy life. And if she doesn’t get her way, she’ll make damned sure that that doctor pays the price for telling her the truth.
(Disclaimer: Yes, I am carrying around quite a few more pounds than I ought to. And yes, I’m not doing very much about it. But what this whacko is doing is so beyond the pale, even I feel the need to call her on it.)