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NAAFA Supports H.R. 4266 but Asks for More
NAAFA, which advocates from the perspective of the fat patient, supports the adopting of H.R. 4266 but believes there is a need for additional training regarding the professional and discrimination-free treatment of fat patients.
NAAFA advocates from the perspective of the fat patient. NAAFA supports:
· An occupational safety and health standard to reduce injuries to patients, nurses, and all other health care workers by establishing a safe patient handling, mobility, and injury prevention standard
· The inclusion of representatives from the fat community, as stakeholders, in the discussion around the development of the Department of Labor (DOL) rules/regulations implementing the legislation
· Education regarding the physical and psychological aspects of fat discrimination and fat stigma be included in the training of all medical personnel
· The treatment of fat patients with dignity and respect
While NAAFA agrees with the proposed legislation to protect the physical health of nurses against injury, we would like to keep in mind that the protection needs to be extended to include the continued health and wellbeing of the patient. The CDC estimates that 69% of American adults are either "overweight"
The development and use of equipment to facilitate movement are a good means to achieving those goals. We strongly support the development of assistive patient handling technology, equipment, and devices. However, there is much more to the care of a patient than their physical treatment. Caregivers' attitudes and beliefs are reflected in the quality of care that the patient receives.
Multiple studies underscore the need for all medical personnel to be educated regarding the physical and psychological aspects of weight discrimination and fat stigma.
NAAFA offers its services in helping to create the curriculum needed for medical/caregiver training. We currently have a brochure that we offer to the public to help education medical professionals in the treatment of fat patients and would be happy to expand upon this information to assist in any DOL training of medical personnel.
You may read the full text of NAAFA's letter at: http://www.naafaonline.com/
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.
On the web: http://www.naafa.org