The Union Leader: Board sets hearing for Dr. Bennett
“One complaint charges he spoke to an obese female patient about her condition in a way that caused her distress and embarrassment. The other complaint, which was filed in 2001, said Bennett advised another female patient to buy a pistol so she could commit suicide to end her physical suffering.
Bennett’s attorney Chuck Douglas said the bigger issue is “how much under the First Amendment (of the Constitution) can government intrude into a doctor’s office . . .
. . . The notice released yesterday quotes Bennett as telling the woman, ‘You need to lose weight. Let’s face it if your husband were to die tomorrow who would want you. Well, men might want you but not the types that you want to want you. Might even be a black guy.’
‘The racial undertone gave rise to concern by the board the complaint might need further investigation,’ Head said.”
Boston Globe: State investigates doctor accused of racial remark to obese woman
“In a telephone interview Tuesday from Rochester, Bennett defended his message to her, saying he has read polls that say black men prefer overweight women.
Bennett, who treated members of the bin Laden family while practicing in Saudi Arabia from 1974 to 1981, denied wrongdoing Tuesday. He also said he is angry the board is reconsidering the 2001 complaint.
‘That patient is currently in a nursing home completely demented, tied to a chair drooling on herself and doesn’t recognize anybody,’ said Bennett, 67. ‘She was in pretty nearly that condition at the time she filed that complaint.’
As for the obese woman, Bennett said he gives the same — admittedly harsh — lecture to every obese female patient, and feels it would be bad medicine not to. He said he is sorry the woman was offended, but that he has apologized.
Charles Douglas, Bennett’s lawyer, said his client is being attacked by the board, which, by its own rules, does not discipline doctors for bedside manner. ‘If a patient does not like the message, go to another doctor,’ Douglas said.”