Victoria woman calls out “fat-shaming” medical negligence in obituary

By Marina Wang

A woman from Victoria has used her obituary to call-out health care professionals that overlook serious medical problems in overweight women due to their size.

Ellen Maud Bennett, 64, died of cancer in May this year. Her obituary, published in the Times Colonist, revealed that the late diagnosis only left her “mere days to live.”

“A final message Ellen wanted to share was about the fat-shaming she endured from the medical profession,” reads the obituary. “Over the past few years of feeling unwell she sought out medical intervention and no one offered any support or suggestions beyond weight loss. Ellen’s dying wish was that women of size make her death matter by advocating strongly for their health and not accepting that fat is the only relevant health issue.”

The obituary gained traction on Twitter, where others shared their experiences with fat-shaming from their health professionals. “As a fat woman fighting for good healthcare, I am grateful for the gift of Ellen Maud Bennett’s final message. I am grieving that fat hatred and the loss of her beautiful life. This happens too often,” reads one Tweet.

Another Tweet reads “when fat people say fat hatred kills us, this is what we mean.”

In addition to spreading the message about more attentive health care for overweight women, the obituary also celebrated Bennett’s “unforgettable character” and “creative soul.”

“Please remember Ellen when you next read a great book, go to a play or buy a small object of stunning beauty. We’ve lost a remarkable woman. Ellen’s family would like to extend our gratitude to the amazing team of angels at the Victoria Hospice who gave her the respect and kindness she needed and deserved,” reads the final sentences of the obituary.

3 Responses to Victoria woman calls out “fat-shaming” medical negligence in obituary

  1. nonconfidencevote says:

    I remember a friend who was on dialysis and his doctor was moving to the States.
    He applied to be a patient with 5 other doctors and was refused by several because he smoked
    Refused by one because he was obese.
    Refused by another who had too many patients.
    Finally accepted by one.
    He died a few years later of pneumonia ( and other complications).

    One wonders how many patients get turned away at doctors offices because they’re fat or they smoke…….

    Judging from this obituary……quite a few.

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