‘Too fat to be a father’

Jan Karlsson from Tibro in western Sweden has been told by staff at an artificial insemination clinic that he is too fat to become a father.

He and his wife Mona Lisa have now lodged an official complaint to the Medical Responsibility Board (Hälso- och sjukvårdens ansvarsnämnd) after a fertility clinic in Skövde refused to carry out the procedure.

“They want me to lose ten kilos if there is be an insemination procedure. But nobody’s going to tell me what I need to look like in order to be a good father,” he told Metro.

Jan Karlsson currently weights 85 kilos (13.4 stones, 187 pounds) and is 1.68 metres (5 feet 6 inches) tall. This gives him a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30.1, which is jut above the cut-off point for obesity.

Ann Thorin Kjellberg, head doctor at the artificial infertility ward at Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska hospital, believed that there must have been some sort of misunderstanding.

“We have a limit for women. Their BMI should be below 35, plus or minus a few kilos. But we don’t have any limits for men.”

But Lars Högström, head physician at the Skövde clinic, insisted that there had been no mistake. While he refused to comment on any individual cases, he reiterated his belief that the health of the father-to-be was a relevant factor when reaching decisions of this nature.

To back up his thesis, he directed Metro to a list of guidelines for healthcare providers in the Västra Götaland region.

“In that document it states that we have to take the health situation of both sexes into account,” said Högström.