In a neighborhood not far from where I live, a little girl Claudialee was an active and imaginative six year old who wanted to be a vet when she grew up. She was also chubby. During a blood test Claudialee was found to have a high glucose level. Her doctor informed her mother that the little girl was pre-diabetic for type 2. He then told her mother that to fix this she needed to lose weight.
She was "prediabetic." During the next visit, Mercado explained to Irma that the results were nothing to be too concerned about. The girl just needed to lose weight. Diet and exercise. She handed Irma a sheet of paper with a food pyramid on it.
Turns out the girl had type 1 which cannot be fixed with diet and exercise. In 2010, she died.
I don't believe the doctor looked at this little girl and said "I sure hope this fat kid dies." However the doctor had worked in SUNY Downstate's Wellness program (To make fatties thin and diabetics not fatties I assume). I think all she heard and learn was the same rhetoric: all fat people become diabetics and if they just lose weight they'll be fine.
Other doctors apparently did not understand why this doctor ruled out type 1. Even with the evidence that most diabetic children under ten do not have type 2, the doctor stood by her diagnosis.
Even after it was clear that Claudialee suffered from type 1, Mercado stood by her diagnosis. When later questioned in court, she disagreed with the notion that type 2 diabetes is uncommon in young kids.
Here is a handy chart that shows the amount of type 1 and type 2. among children. Notice type 2 is a tiny sliver among children younger than 10. Even after ten type 2 is still less common (except among certain groups. Hispanics were half and half)
The doctor made a poor assumption on a six year old, where she saw fat as the culprit. Even the Village Voice article that reported this made a poor assumption because it said fat caused diabetes. (I wrote last week about a doctor who thinks this is backwards).
The worst part is this woman still practices despite financial judgements against her. When I saw the headline in the voice
Type Miscast: An Elmhurst Doctor's Type 2 Diabetes Misdiagnosis Results in the Death of a Six-Year-Old Girl
Without even reading the article I knew exactly what happened. I knew the girl was chubby and had type 1.
Any doctor who didn't even bother to figure out if this girl had type 1 shouldn't be practicing medicine. I'm not even a fucking doctor and I saw a child with elevated blood sugar, I would assume type 1.
This is another case of treating fat instead of the disease.