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How attitudes about weight could harm patients

According to a review of previous research published on Aug. 3, fat-shaming can have both mental and physical effects on Illinois residents. This was the conclusion reached by researchers from Connecticut College's Department of Psychology. The research took a look at nearly four dozen earlier studies and took a look at the relationship between a doctor's attitudes toward obesity and patient outcomes.

One possible outcome was that a doctor's attitude toward a patient's weight caused the patient to lose trust in the doctor or other health care providers. It was also possible that a doctor's assumption that weight was responsible for a patient's health issues resulted in a misdiagnosis. One of the study's authors said that basing treatment on a person's weight should be considered a form of malpractice. There was also a call for better training to avoid potential biases because of a patient's weight.

If a patient is the victim of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a condition, it may be considered malpractice. This may be true if a doctor failed to order a test or ordered an unnecessary test because of an assumption unrelated to a patient's symptoms. There are many ways that a patient may experience decreased health because of a misdiagnosis. In some cases, a patient may be put on medication that he or she does not need that comes with significant side effects.

In the event that a doctor's negligence leads to health problems for a patient, that person may be entitled to compensation. It may be possible to ask for reimbursement for medical bills incurred as well as for lost wages and lost future earnings. It may also be possible to receive compensation for emotional distress caused by a misdiagnosis.

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