Frances Chan is a 20-year-old history major at Yale University. She is 5'2" and weighs just 90lbs. Although Chan is very thin in appearance, she is otherwise healthy and insists that she does not have an eating disorder. Chan says that she has tried to gain weight and often eats fattening and high calorie foods such as ice-cream and cookies. She maintains that many of her family members are also very thin and that her small size just runs in her family.
Yale University grew concerned with Chan's thin frame and began to question her about it. Although Chan tried to explain her situation, the school did not believe her and told her that if she did not agree to some medical tests and gain some weight, she would be forced to leave the school. Chan agreed to the tests and for several months, she has been involved in a number of medical tests and been consuming a lot of calories in an attempt to gain weight.
Chan has finally had enough and says that she can no longer handle the tests or overeating. The university also agrees and says that the tests were unable to determine why Chan cannot gain weight. One of the doctors involved with the testing has decided that Chan does not have an eating disorder and claims that he trusts her to make the right decisions regarding her health and healthy eating.
Chan shared information about the medical testing saying,
“In the past three weeks alone, I have spent ten hours at Yale Health, our student health center,” she wrote. “Since December, I have had weekly weigh-ins and urine tests, three blood tests, appointments with a mental health counselor and a nutritionist, and even an EKG done to test my heart. My heart was fine — as it always has been — and so was the rest of my body. So what was the problem?”
Chan believes that the school was only looking at the numbers on the scale instead of Chan as a person and that the college doctors were only worried about the scientific aspects of the medical tests instead of the effects they had on Chan.
Chan gained two pounds during the testing, and is happy to be done with it.
“I was scheduled to have a mental health appointment at 9:00 a.m. and a weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. this past Friday,” she said. “But I’m done. No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one. If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.”
Do you think Yale University had a right to tell Chan to gain weight?
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