Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Discrimination? I don't think so.

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.

Le sigh.

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?


furiousBall said...

you know I'm gonna start volunteering for my town's FD starting next fall.... just sayin'

Jazz said...

furiousball - And again you make me swoon.

geewits said...

If I were a patient, I would think any 300 lb. person in the medical profession had not taken their studies very seriously. I wouldn't want them anywhere near me!

A Happy Downtowner said...

Excellent! Well said on all counts. A friend of mine works in the OR and you should hear what he said about stuff that comes out of overweight people's stomach.

And ITA about firefighters. I live near a firehall and I swoon on a regular basis when I walk home in the summer :)

Kwach said...

I'm hardly obese, but I'm 53 years old and lugging around the fairly typical extra 20 pounds of middle-aged pudge was making it sheer hell to stand on my feet and do 12 hour operating room stints anymore. I removed myself from my job. I flat told them I'm not up to the physical demands of that job and they should hire someone younger. I'm gonna sit down more.

The sweating was the least of my problems.


Tai said...

It's ALWAYS someones else's fault these days.
Or someone else is always discriminating.

I think I'm going to sue somebody 'cus I'm not making ungodly amounts of money as a plastic surgeon.
It certainly can't be 'cus I'm not ecducated to be a plastic surgeon, why...that's discrimination!!!
I'll blame the school system for not educating me well enough. And then I'll sue the rest of the world for discriminating against my under education.
I'll get my cash by hook or by crook, damn it!

Tai said...

You can tell I'm under educated, as evidenced by my mispelling of 'educated' in my last post.
Case in point!
And now I rest my case.
So get off my case.

Jocelyn said...

Firefighters are cute because they're brave. You see that on their faces, not their actual features.

Or else you're attracted to their gear. Gear is hot.

And I agree about the discrimination. If you can't do your job, do a different job.

Hageltoast said...

Yay Jazz, it's PC gone mad!! I think the whole overkill on polotical coreectness actually causes resentment and for people to feel more discriminitary but keep it secret.

Big Brother said...

"The fat lady has sung..." sorry lil sister couldn't help slipping that in. ;o) Good rant, I'm sure Middle Sister would agree with you.

Ian Lidster said...

Why is 'discrimination' always deemed to be a negative term? Of course it was discsrimination that prompted them to sack the obese nurse, and so it should have been. She should have been let go because she was unable to do the job in her physical state. Would you want an alcoholic doing neurosurgery on you? So, the fact that he would not be permitted to would be discrimination against drunks in the operating theatre.
Reminds me of the old Peter Cooke/Dudly Moore pice on the one-legged Tarzan.

Anonymous said...

I'd be less than pleased about someone sweating into my surgical incision. Yigh.

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

I pretty sure that the exact quota is that 9 out of 10 firefighters are required to be hotty-hot-hots and the other one has to be average looking.

I think I read that somewhere.

Anonymous said...

You should read this. And open your mind.

Jazz said...

Anonymous - I read it. I still consider that if you are unable to do your job because of health or physical issues, you should be doing something else, and not because I have a closed mind. Sorry.

Oh, and anoymous comments? C'mon. No one here, least of all me will go out and hunt you down for your comment. If I rejected negative comments out of hand, I'd not have comments available would I?