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Obese woman files B.C. human rights complaint over allegedly denied rehab

01/16/2015 09:45 EST | Updated 03/18/2015 05:59 EDT
An obese woman has filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, claiming two doctors denied her health care because of her weight.

The university professor, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, said she didn't get the intensive rehabilitation after a hip surgery because the doctors said it was a waste of time given her weight. 

The woman's claim argues she was discriminated against because of her weight. She weighed 440 pounds after her hip surgery in 2012 and was told she needed to lose more than 100 pounds to become mobile.

The woman was discharged by Vancouver General Hospital to her regional hospital, which cannot be named under a publication ban. She received eight weeks of rehabilitation before being sent home. 

But later that year, she was re-admitted with an infection in the incision from the original surgery. As a result, the prosthetic components of her right hip were completely removed. 

After that, she claims doctors — none of whom can be named due to the publication ban — did not offer her adequate rehabilitation and that she was wrongly denied it because of her weight.

The Health Authority denies this, saying her length of stay in the hospital was 126 days — the longest of any orthopaedic patient in the unit over a six-year period.

The authority also says it also gave her the unit's only private room and mobility aids.

The Human Rights Tribunal is recommending the two parties use mediation to settle the matter.

Read the woman's human rights complaint here

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