Dr. Bennett wins

The court rules against the NH Board of Medicine:

Judge Edward Fitzgerald made clear in a ruling released Thursday that he did not condone remarks attributed to Dr. Terry Bennett and found them unnecessary, but ruled Bennett had a right to speak bluntly.

“It is nonetheless important … to ensure that physicians and patients are free to discuss matters relating to health without fear of government reprisal, even if such discussions may sometimes be harsh, rude or offensive to the listener,” he concluded in the ruling Wednesday.

The complaints against Bennett included charges that he told a white patient that she was so obese she might only be attractive to black men . . .

. . . Bennett said he planned to sue everyone involved for “malicious prosecution.”

“I am not inclined to be forgiving about it,” he said. “It’s been devastating and infuriating.”

(via a reader tip)

Update -
From the Manchester Union Leader:

It was a good ruling. As Concord attorney Chuck Douglas, whose firm represented Bennett, said last week, Bennett is free to say what he wants and his patients are free to seek another doctor if they don’t like it. Appealing to the Board of Medicine to silence him is the wrong remedy.

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  • Samson Isberg

    Finally a wise judge – A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel! O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!

    O wise and upright judge!
    How much more elder art thou than thy looks!

  • SarahW

    While I can see why the ruling on principle is a comfort to practitioners, no medical practitioner should defend Bennet. he was way out of line.

    Personal remarks such as the ones he made about dead spouses and dating are simply bad medicine, which probably do more harm than good. Instead of changing behaviour, it gives a patient a good reason to avoid seeing any physician for any reason.

    Fat people need instruction to lose weight and an account of obesity’s potential and actual effects on themselves. They have no need of the selfish venting of a physicians disgust nor an inventory of a married patient’s attractiveness to potential mates.

  • Anonymous

    What Sarah said.

    And as the icing on the cake, I see he’s gonna sue. I’m waiting to see if any of you criticize him for it, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Anonymous

    You guys need to read a little more about this Bennett guy. He also told her that if she didn’t lose weight only “Black men” will give you a second look. Anyone want to tell me how that isn’t racial?

    What about the woman he told to go home and shoot herself?

    This guy is as sick as they come and so are you if this is what you uphold!

  • gheebex

    you can’t be defrocked just for being an asshole

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