Do I Have the Right NOT to Be Weighed? - page 3

Hi everyone... Was at the doctor for a routine gyn recently and of course the tech was doing all the pre-lims like BP and stuff. She wanted me to get on the scale, which I always defer when I've... Read More

  1. by   traumaRUs
    Yes, you can refuse. I am fat...okay obese. I don't need some scale to tell me that! lol
  2. by   RNLaborNurse4U
    I worked in an OB GYN office years ago....and one patient (pregnant) would defer all weights...it was documented in her chart that we were not to weigh her. She was recovering from an eating disorder, and just stepping on the scale would be traumatic for her. There were other methods of measuring to quantify if her weight gain was appropriate for her pregnancy, and her weight was not medically necessary. (Fundal height measurements of her uterus were relied upon for fetal growth, plus physical assessments of her body were visually done by the practitioner at each visit....checking to see if edema was present or not, etc). No, she nor her practitioner knew how much weight she gained, but her pregnancy went well, and she delivered a healthy, appropriate weight baby. It didn't matter what her weight gain was or wasn't.

    Sometimes, it truly is more important to bypass weight measurements at office visits, if it's a benefit to the patient (emotional, psychological, etc) to skip the weigh-in.
  3. by   NurseyTee
    Quote from RN007
    Hey, I understand completely (or as best I can as a person who does not have an eating disorder). One of my best friends has extreme, treatment resistant bipolar disorder, and her daughter is also bipolar, also recovering from an eating disorder. Being near scales continues to be a problem for her, and I respect that.

    I may have a simple reason: When I went to a surgeon for a consult recently, I commented on how much I hated getting on the scale and the woman told me the insurance companies require it. It proves that you were actually there. I know this doesn't solve your problem, unless maybe you could find out and run some interference with the insurance company?

    I wish you the best with your recovery. I know it's a challenging course.
    No offense, but wouldn't a B/P, temp, or the person's height be just as effective in "proving" you were there??

    Personally, I think you are allowed to decline any procedure you wish not to be performed. It's your body and health. Just say No. I have had people decline meds that were critical for maintaining their health, but it's is still their right to do so. I don't see where weight is any different.
  4. by   widi96
    Okay . . I'll play a little bit of the devil's advocate here. And YES, you have every right to refuse your weight, but I can also understand the physician not wanting to see you. There are two reasons for this, one of which seems probably inapplicable to your situation and that would be that there are a lot of medications out there that are weight based. The physician can not accurately order the medication without a weight. That's why we weigh people in the hospital vs having them just tell us what they weigh. The second (and probably most likely in your situation) is unfortunately in our society today people are very sue happy. Weight is an important assessment tool and if something were to happen and it is known that you went to the doctor and it was 'missed' it holds the doctor liable for litigation. Can you imagine if cardiac patient's refused their weight and were going into CHF. Now, I just wanted to give you a little bit of the other side of it, but it is YOUR body and YOU get to chose what you do with it.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Come on, there are ways of knowing besides the numbers on the scale whether or not my weight is appropriate. Clothing size being one.
    Clothing size isn't an accurate way of knowing. Today i wear a size 5 or 6 in jeans. If i put on a pair of the same brand of jeans, same, cut, etc. from 11 years ago that fit well now, they are size 9/10. Not to mention sizes can vary by brand.
  6. by   IndyGal
    I'm glad someone else brought this up. I've often wondered the same thing, for similar reasons. I once asked whether it was necessary and the nurse said yes, so I didn't argue. But come on... between the gyn exam and breast exam, the doctor is going to see me naked or mostly naked; surely he can tell whether I'm in a healthy weight range or not!

    There have been times where I've gained some weight and would delay an annual exam until I lost the weight because I just couldn't face having THAT NUMBER officially logged on my chart. Yes, I realize it's not healthy, but those numbers are big deal to me and I've never been able to shake that.
    Last edit by IndyGal on Oct 29, '06
  7. by   Cherish
    Weight is needed in case you get medicine, you need the right dosage amount. Lets say your going to the GYN and weighing your options for BC. Well if your say over 200lb or so and ask for the BC Patch (Ortho-Evra). This BC is not as effective since you would be over the weight limit you can take it but you would have a higher chance of getting pregnant compared to someone within the weight range that medicine requires. I understand if you have an eating disorder though, if you personally know your weight within 10lbs I wouldnt see how that would be a problem. But if its a routine visit and your doctor is being anal you should see another doctor. If your in treatment through an outpatient facility ask the facility if they know of doctors within your group that deal with people with eating disorders who are not insensitive about your situation.
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from nursesaideBen
    When I've floated to the psych unit at the hospital I'm at, patients with eating disorders were not allowed to know their weight simply because it was so upsetting. The were also weighed backwards on the scale so the couldn't see what they weighed and the nurse or tech who recorded the weight was not allowed to disclose it to the patient. Perhaps next time at the dr's office tell them of your condition and asked to be weighed with your back facing the scale. Could that work for you?
    I agree with this approach...because by the very fact she has an eating disorder, her actual weight is extremely important. If I were the doctor, I would want the "entire picture" before treating a patient, ESPECIALLY if she has an eating disorder.

    She isn't getting weighed every single day...it appeared from the OP that this is when she just made a routine visit.

    However, since she claims she is in recovery, then part of getting back to her normal life, is taking this step...that is why I suggested that she not look at the weight, or it be disclosed to her, an having to explain it every time she goes in is just adding to her anxiety.

    However, if she cannot do this and is still having this much trouble, then she definately still needs to be in therapy, in all due respect to the original OP.
  9. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    I agree with this approach...because by the very fact she has an eating disorder, her actual weight is extremely important. If I were the doctor, I would want the "entire picture" before treating a patient, ESPECIALLY if she has an eating disorder.

    She isn't getting weighed every single day...it appeared from the OP that this is when she just made a routine visit.

    However, since she claims she is in recovery, then part of getting back to her normal life, is taking this step...that is why I suggested that she not look at the weight, or it be disclosed to her, an having to explain it every time she goes in is just adding to her anxiety.

    However, if she cannot do this and is still having this much trouble, then she definately still needs to be in therapy, in all due respect to the original OP.
    This is really none of our business. I have to admit that I don't understand eating disorders very well. I don't think I need to understand them to know that Meerkat has a right to decline to be weighed. This is only the business of Meerkat and her physician who is is treating the eating disorder. Her gyn is not treating the eating disorder. So weighing her in that office just isn't critical. We don't need to understand to respect her choices and autonomy.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Oct 29, '06
  10. by   raekaylvn
    No one can make you do anything you don't want to do. Simple as that.
  11. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from multicollinarity
    This is really none of our business, and I don't think your personal opinions as stated above are relavent. I have to admit that I don't understand eating disorders very well. I don't think I need to understand them to know that Meerkat has a right to decline to be weighed. Your above comments are heavy-handed and out of line in my opinion. This is only the business of Meerkat and her physician who is is treating the eating disorder. Her gyn is not treating the eating disorder. So weighing her in that office just isn't critical. We don't need to understand to respect her choices and autonomy.

    i agree with you multi.
    again, this is not about what she 'should do' but rather, what her rights are.
    no one has the right to bully, shame, or disrespect another human being.

    leslie
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from earle58
    no one has the right to bully, shame, or disrespect another human being.

    leslie
    Well said, Leslie.:yeahthat:

    Let me take this opportunity to ask that members debate the topic, and not each other. Thank you.
  13. by   mercyteapot
    I have declined being weighed before, simply because I didn't want to know. Some MAs will just write decline, others will say I ''have to''. Because for me it was just a matter of not wanting to know, I didn't insist- but I do believe that you have that right. And don't count on them remembering that you just told them 30 seconds ago that you don't want them to tell you what you weigh, because that apparently is asking too much, at my PCP's office, anyway.
    Last edit by mercyteapot on Oct 29, '06

close