A Doctor’s First, and Last, Responsibility is to Care Comment on “Denial of Treatment to Obese Patients—the Wrong Policy on Personal Responsibility for Health”

Document Type : Commentary


Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


The obesity epidemic raises important and complex issues for clinicians and policy-makers, such as what clinical and public health measures will be most effective and most ethically-sound. While Nir Eyal’s analysis of these issues is very helpful and while he correctly concludes that “conditioning the very aid that patients need in order to become healthier on success in becoming healthier” is wrong, further discussions of these issues must include unequivocal support for safeguarding the fundamental moral basis of the doctor-patient relationship. Regardless of any patients’ failures to demonstrate effective responsibility for their own health, each patient needs and deserves a physician whose caring is never in doubt. Policy- makers need to ensure that our health systems always make this a top priority. 


Main Subjects

1. Eyal N. Denial of treatment to obese patients—the wrong policy on personal responsibility for health. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2013; 1: 107–10. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2013.18
  • Receive Date: 16 September 2013
  • Revise Date: 29 September 2013
  • Accept Date: 27 September 2013
  • First Publish Date: 29 September 2013