Indiana: Expectant Mother Discriminated Against Due To Weight?

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A Lafayette mother-to-be says her doctor lied to her.

She says she was told hospital policy at I-U Health Arnett forces her to have her baby in Indianapolis.

But there is no policy and the woman says she and her sister have been unfairly treated because of their weight.

The due date - May 15th - for Kaly Deel and husband Gabe is not a problem.

But the hospital location is.

She wants to give birth to her 2nd child at IU Health Arnett.

But when she tipped the scales at 353 pounds.. she was told.. that wouldn't be an option.

"So you were told it was IU Health Arnett policy that if you weighed more than 350"
"You had to go to the hospital in Indianapolis, downtown Indy."
"It's not the doctor's decision, it is IU Health Arnett policy"
"That's what she said."

But it didn't sound right to her.
She says she was even heavier when she gave birth to her first child at Arnett four years ago.

"I've talked to several people and no one has heard of this."

Deel says her sister who is also over 350 pounds was given the same policy line by a different doctor before the sister gave birth in Indianapolis last fall.

Between her sister's bad experience.. Deel's worries about the long drive plus the extra costs associated with multiple trips to Indianapolis.. she wants to give birth closer to home.

"IU was very good to me with my first son"

IU Health Arnett refused a request for an interview but said there is no policy in place specific to a patient's weight.
A statement was released which states in part..

"Our highly skilled physicians always make decisions that are in the best interest of the patient and their safety"

and that decisions are

"evaluated on a case-by-case basis."

"She said it was policy that I had to go there. She did not say it was in the best interest of me or the baby"
"If she had said that?"
"If she would have said that, then I would have been okay and I would have gone with her decision."

Deel says unlike her first pregnancy when both high blood pressure and gestational diabetes were a concern.. outside of her weight.. there are no complications.

"So i just don't understand why they are singling us out...I'm hoping they'll have a different outlook on bigger people and not treat us differently than the other people"

A spokesperson for the hospital said she was fully aware of the situation and unwilling to make further comment.
To read the full corporate statement from I-U Health Arnett.. head to our website at wlfi- dot- com.

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