A hospital in Quebec (Hull I believe) decided to exclude a nurse from the operationg room where she worked for five months in 2003 (yeah, it's been a while). But last week the Quebec Labour ministry backed the hospital in its decision. They move quickly don't they? Ah, the joys of bureaucracy.
The nurse in question weighed 300 lbs and the hospital judged that in the context of an operating room she wasn’t efficient because of her excessive sweating. The argument was that the sweating could pose a bacterial risk for patients in what should be a sterile environment. She had been allowed to change several times during operations, but it wasn't enough it seems.
The fact that she weighed 300 lbs and that there’s only so much space to work around a prone patient also certainly entered into the equation.
And now, the “Aide aux obèses handicapées du Québec”, an association that helps obese people, is crying discrimination since her size is not her fault. (Let me play devil’s advocate and posit that at least 90% of people are obese simply because they eat too much. Not because of glandular problems. Those cases are few and far between. Now, I shall run and hide for being so un-PC.)
I’m as enlightened as the next guy. I am too! But at the same time, if your size renders you incapable of doing your job correctly, is it discrimination to move you from your job?
Space constraints prevent a 300 lb person from being a flight attendant. And I haven't seen any obese fire fighters recently*. Is that discrimination? Is it discrimination that there are no morbidly obese astronauts?
I'm sick of discrimination. Or rather of being accused of disrimination all the time. You move someone from their job because they're too fat to do it? Discrimination. You say that such and such is an asshole? You're a racist because such and such just happens to be black. Sorry, he's an asshole first and foremost. It's just so damn easy to blame the other guy.
I’m all for ending discrimination, but for Pete’s sake (who was Pete by the way and why are we still talking about him?), when did we throw all logic out of the window?
* Actually I think firefighters are seriously hot. No pun intended. Is there a rule that says they have to be really good looking to be hired? Would that be discrimination?