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Swede 'too heavy' for disabled transport

The Local · 30 Jul 2012, 11:17

Published: 30 Jul 2012 11:17 GMT+02:00

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“It is terribly insulting to be limited in your daily life like this,” said a representative for the woman, Göran Magnusson, to local paper Skånskan.

The woman, who is clinically obese, was recently given a new electric wheelchair by the health clinic in order for her to be able to get around unhindered.

However, according to the woman, she still is not able to do her food shopping without help from the transportation service, as she said she couldn’t power the wheelchair and carry the bags of shopping at the same time, according to the paper.

The disabled transport service, known as "färdtjänst", is available to handicapped individuals in Sweden who are unable to travel by ordinary public transport.

At the end of May the woman was told that she would no longer be entitled to the service as the combined weight of the chair and herself exceeded 300 kilogrammes, which is the safety limit for the vehicle.

The company that provides the service has argued that their cars are not supposed to carry the type of electric wheelchair that the woman is using, which is meant for outdoor use.

“We are trying to help and we tried for a while, but it has turned out it just won’t work,” said company manager Bo Möller to the newspaper.

The woman lives some distance outside of central Malmö and despite the chair being an outdoor mode of transportation, she is afraid that its batteries will run out before she reaches her destination, leaving her stranded half-way home.

Magnusson has meanwhile penned a letter to the local authorities on behalf of the woman in which he calls the company’s decision “discriminatory”.

“She has as much right to use transportation service as anybody else. Now she’ll be stuck in her house, unable to move far from her home,” Magnusson wrote, according to Skånskan.

Story continues below…

However, the transport company maintains that they have done all they can for the woman and that she is more than welcome to use their services provided she uses a normal wheelchair, reports the paper.

TT/The Local/rm


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:49 July 30, 2012 by StockholmSam
Based only on the information of this article, I have to side with the transportation company. If they exceed the weight capacity of the vehicle, it might void the warranty...or worse, set them up for a lawsuit if the driver loses control of the car and hits someone. Fat lady needs to accept that a lifetime of bad decisions (poor eating habits, lack of exercise) have put her in a position where she is highly inconvenienced and the rest of us can only provide so much assistance.
13:02 July 30, 2012 by Snoopy!
Feel absolutely no sympathy at all for the overindulgent lard ass.

Equal rights for the position she got herself into ! pull the other one
13:13 July 30, 2012 by Challie70
I agree with the company if there was an accident the company could lose a lot of money and even lives. However before you call the women a fatass who did it to herself. You might want to think there is unlying health problems that cause the woman to gain weight. Their might physical problems that make her unable to excersize and if you are stuck in a house by yourself all day because ill for many years. Don't you think you would gain weight? Oh no cause we are all perfect an never over ebdulge on alcohol food cigarettes...wow so much pointing fingers when you can't not tell me your perfect!
13:31 July 30, 2012 by Svensksmith
If she is not able to shop for food she should be able to slim down quickly.
13:55 July 30, 2012 by Snoopy!
Matter of fact I can categorically state Challie70 that I never overindulge excessively with alcohol & don't touch cancer sticks.

She might have two arms missing , she can still exercise, might have two legs missing can still exercise , she might have one of each missing, she might have all 4 missing & can still exercise. Short of being mentally impaired & seeing that the article makes no mention of this, i will have to assume that she has all her faculties on board still.

Are you sensing, gathering a picture now Challie70 its all about choice! and I know what path she has chosen with her faculties & with or without legs & arms.

And before anyone shoots me down do some googling on some rather remarkable individuals in the world today ,whom have no arm or legs or both
14:02 July 30, 2012 by anonymous4
It is difficult for any person of any weight to carry packages in these wheelchairs. Also they have a short battery life. This person has a right to shop like anyone else. If she received the proper care, she would not be so overweight. Please keep in mind that a person confined to a wheelchair does NOT get as much exercise to burn calories as a person who is not in a chair.
14:41 July 30, 2012 by Scepticion
@Svensksmith, that's what I thought, a natural balance :-) Once she can get out to buy food herself, she would be a lot healthier.

As to exercise, it seems a lot less important than just simply overeating according to new research:


Yes, exercise will take off some calories, but if you simply eat a reasonable amount, you will not gain weight - simple - that's not discriminatory. People have to take responsibility for their acts.
15:04 July 30, 2012 by Mb 65
Swedes are getting fatter and fatter, tattoo's on even old women. Sweden is not the county it use to be.
15:56 July 30, 2012 by k2kats
Something's very awry here.

The argument is that the weight of this disabled woman and her "outdoor" wheelchair exceeds the weight limit of the transport vehicle. That may be true.

But then the agency states that they will allow her to use an "indoor" wheelchair. The problem? Power wheelchairs for indoor use versus outdoor use do not have appreciable weight differences.

Do they, perhaps, mean that they feel that using a manual wheelchair, which is much lighter, would solve the problem? If so, how did they decide that this woman's physical limitations are such that she can physically manipulate a manual wheelchair? Even if she could physically manipulate a manual wheelchair, have you ever tried to grocery shop in one?

Perhaps the required change is the vehicle used for transport.

BTW? People use wheelchairs for many reasons, not just loss of limbs. Some conditions add weight, despite the affected individual's bird like diet and best intentions, and other conditions bar exercise when they are severe enough to render the individual disabled (e.g. respiratory, vascular). Judge not, lest ye be judged.
16:33 July 30, 2012 by riose

What if the problem is psychological?
17:32 July 30, 2012 by Rishonim
It is rather unfair to call the woman lard ass without knowing her physical condition. Maybe the poor lady suffers from hypothyroidism or some other medical reason. Don't be so quick to judge people.
17:39 July 30, 2012 by Mxzf
I agree it's not the taxi company's problem. It the kommun wants her to have Färdtjänst they can hire in some heavier vehicles to drive her around. It doesn't have to be a very big outdoors wheelchair to get up to 300kg with a normal built person, so I doubt it's her obeseness that's the problem here, but the weight limit on the vehicles.

...which I don't get anyway, doesn't a normal taxi van carry more then 1000kg?
17:53 July 30, 2012 by fikatid
I think the government should provide her with a maid, who could shop for her, cook for her and feed her, all paid for by the tax players. It's not her fault at all. If someone has to be blamed, it should be the bakeries that make the "princess tortas" and "kanelbullar", the manufacturers of "godis" and most of all, the skinny people that make her seem fat by comparison.
19:17 July 30, 2012 by Swedishmyth
There can never be a right to impose an unchosen obligation on somebody else. What about their rights to remain free so long as they don't use force against others?

"Discrimination" is a modern hex flung at anyone whose use of their own property doesn't fit the whims of some self-appointed claimant to it. It's merely a dysphemism for judgement, used to say "Don't judge, don't think; just serve unquestioningly".
19:32 July 30, 2012 by GLO
Stop eating 120 lbs of food per day. You are the problem!
20:49 July 30, 2012 by J Kwiatowska
It is oh so easy to be a smart-ass and know everything about the lives of disabled people when you are still young and healthy... The hate and/or ignorance that shows through some of your comments is appalling. Yes, this woman's body looks like that of my grandmother (who lived to be 35 years older than this woman is in this picture BTW) so she definitely has serious health issues, but as someone already mentioned earlier, simple diet and exercise changes will not fix the problem. Mobility issues might be the result of obesity, or the other way around... Aside from what was mentioned already (medication side effects, limited exercise options for disabled, housebound people) hormonal changes also make us gain weight... This discussion should focus instead on how this woman can be helped (since it is obvious that she wants to be active and be able to leave her house and do her own shopping by herself, instead of someone else doing it for her - imagine, people, how it would feel not to be able to leave your house at all, ever, for any reason...) and ... if you so wish, b/c some of you here seem to have all the answers, what the rest of us (not this woman) can do to avoid having impaired mobility in old age. I challenge you and I guarantee you that there are no easy answers or solutions here.
04:25 July 31, 2012 by Da Goat
Sounds like we need the Japanese to do some science work on her ......we may need to say she is a Finn .......whale!
06:42 July 31, 2012 by Flygger
Not jumping to conclusion here but I daresay this lady's condition is probably down to a lifetime of self neglect. Haven't seen one person in Ethiopia suffering from medical conditions that cause obesity and as far as not being able to exercise in a wheelchair goes.. Stephen Hawking isn't even a couple of mg overweight.

Lady is in a very unfortunate position but shouldn't be blaming everyone but herself for her predicament.
09:29 July 31, 2012 by cogito
Is fat the new gay?

A proposed addition to English hate-crime legislation would criminalize calling someone "fatty." The school yard tease would be rebranded as a hate-crime on par with homophobia.

And what's next? Calling the vertically challenged Shorty ?
10:39 July 31, 2012 by robban70226
so much talk and congetures here the problem is that the transport company can not handle the combined weight of the woman + weelchair, options are to put the woman in a standard wheel chair when she need to use the transport or to use another transport meda that can handle + 300 kg, plenty of those around
10:43 July 31, 2012 by Atlas
So far, based on the article i support the decision of the transport company...It is very simple, they are not offering the services due to safety concerns, not due to her physical appearance. And to the old lady who has, according to TL, expressed outrage after being denied by a transportation service for being "too heavy", think about the safety of the others as well...Don't be so narrow minded...others suffering from the same problems need to use the services of the transport company in a safely manner as well...
23:01 July 31, 2012 by Frobobbles
What is "clinically obese"?
05:31 August 1, 2012 by sonia hust
50% of North Americans are obese.
14:09 August 3, 2012 by rohermoker
She is either to heavy, or the truck is to lite.
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