Should hospitals refuse to hire obese employees?

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There has been much debate recently around the fact that many medical facilities are refusing to hire smokers. Along those same lines, a new question has popped up: can hospitals refuse to hire the obese?

This is what has happened at Citizens Medical Center, located in Texas. The facility refuses to hire anyone with a body mass index over 35. The Week gives the example that a 5’5” applicant could not weigh over 210 and be hired at Citizens.

The measure appears to be legal in Texas, though it has raised many arguments. Many feel the law is discriminatory while others think it will help set a good example for patients by hiring healthy employees. Still a third school of thought points out that BMI may not be the best measure of someone’s weight.

What do you think about the issue? Take part in the poll below, and let us know your opinions in the comments!

Should medical facilities be able to use BMI as a factor in the hiring process?

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Source: The Week



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4 Responses to Should hospitals refuse to hire obese employees?

  1. RCRN

    1. Heavy people can be more healthy than thin people.
    2. Is there such a glut of nursing personnel in this part of Teas that they can pick and choose?

  2. thatgirl RN

    Please read your first paragraph, I believe the word higher is spelled incorrectly. Shouldn’t it be spelled “hire”? Just asking.

  3. trenee1209

    Some of the best Nurses’ I have ever seen wield a stethoscope were overweight. Are we now saturated with so many Nurses’ we can start weeding them out based on weight? What is next, too many pimples, bad teeth, ugly? A nurse who is so overweight that she or he is not capable of managing their patient load should be terminated or not hired.

    What an insult to overweight nurses who have saved countless lives, comforted so many scared souls, bundled up so many precious newborns to hand over to eagerly awaiting parents. What a sad day to be an American Nurse.

  4. mssjez

    I think a lot of people are getting terms confused with this debate. “Obese” is a completely different lifestyle than “overweight”. To put this is better perspective…I am 5′ 6″. According to BMI, my normal weight range should be between 120 and 150 pounds. An overweight range would go up to 180 pounds, and obese is beyond that. However, the obese category begins at a BMI of about 30. This article is depicting a BMI limit of 35, which would mean that a 5′ 6″ person would be over 220 pounds. Being heavy is fine, being overweight is fine and being slightly obese is fine. If you are severely obese, I think a health facility should be able to choose not to hire someone who is not an example of care. I think the same should be applied to the opposite. Someone who is severely underweight is not taking care of themselves and don’t set a positive example for their patients.