Overweight children and medical ethical issues

There’s been a lot of controversy in the news lately about overweight children and medical ethical issues. Whether it be about an organ transplant, health issues or whether or not state authorities have the right to remove obese children from their home and place them into foster care, the controversy remains: Whose fault is it and what are the medical ethical issues?

Health Care

With the rising cost of health care prominent in the news many insurance companies are following guidelines and policies about healthy weights for children and adults. Should these companies charge more for obese patients? Or should they be trying to help these patients reduce their weight in a healthy manner? Is it ethical for them to charge more according to what a patient weighs? One would think they are charging by the pound if they consider this route. It’s not ethical for health insurance companies to charge more for obese patients, focusing on healthy options for their obese patients these patients can be further helped by learning healthy eating and exercise versus being charged more for their weight.


Many medical conditions can cause obesity including those involving kidneys, early puberty and more. Whether the weight is caused by the medications or because of the condition is often debatable. Unfortunately this often leads to the controversy of whether or not the patient would qualify for a transplant if one should become available. Should patients be denied transplants according to whether or not they are a certain weight? Who has the right to decide if a patient qualifies or not? No one knows what the outcome of this patient’s health will be with or without the transplant so do the medical boards have an ethics committee that has the right to decide who lives or dies?


As a rule, society tends to avoid discussing obesity unless it’s in a negative fashion. Although this isn’t ethical either it’s become so commonplace that many people don’t even realize that they’re guilty of doing it.

Foster Care

There are a few rare instances in which a child has been removed from their home and placed into foster care due to their weight. The controversy rages on about whether or not this is ethical let alone legal. Who has the right to decide if a parent is feeding their child properly? Why is the state spending so much on removing a child from his or her home and placing them into a strangers home in lieu of educating parents in healthy nutrition? Imagine the child’s fright at being placed into a strangers home. Many people eat when they’re nervous or fearful, is this not setting the child up for further failure then?

Whose responsibility is it to determine these medical ethical issues? Is it society’s? Is it the parents? Is it a trend? How can we change it? By voicing our concerns and beliefs to the right health care and medical facilities. By sending letters to congressmen and women to change the laws that decide who does or doesn’t get a transplant or medical assistance when needed. One voice can make a difference, will you share yours?

Article source: http://www.helium.com/items/2283215-overweight-children-and-medical-ethical-issues

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