Canadian doctors decry airline ‘tush test’
Carriers comply with disability ruling; critics claim they’re passing the buck
The picture above is the diagram which appears in the AIR CANADA medical form instructing doctors how to calculate the width of someon’s behind. The diagram, which is a line drawing, depicts the naked back and partial buttocks of someone who is seated. An arrow pointing to the outside of the left buttock indicates “Point A” and an arrow pointing to the outside of the right buttock indicates “Point B”.
By Harriet Baskas – Travel Writer
After fighting it for nearly a year, Canada’s major airlines finally unveiled procedures they claim will comply with the Canadian Transportation’s Agency’s “one-person, one-fare” ruling. On all domestic flights within Canada, the carriers are required to provide additional seating to disabled travelers who must be accompanied by a personal attendant or to travelers determined by medical professionals to be functionally disabled by obesity.
How airlines determine who needs or gets an extra seat has been a thorny issue. On Jan. 10, Air Canada and WestJet announced they will require disabled or obese passengers seeking a second seat to get a note from a doctor and send it in for review well before their flight date. But doctors, disability rights groups and travelers of all sizes are calling that requirement everything from “too burdensome” to “ludicrous,” and they give the plan’s chances of working a big fat zero.
Disability rights groups claim the medical forms require passengers to give too much personal information to the airlines. They suggest a third party — one more experienced with these issues — would be better suited for the job. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), meanwhile, is complaining that the form asking doctors to measure a patient’s behind “shows a disregard for the use of scarce medical resources.”
Read the entire article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28777115/
Acknowledgements to Beth Haller at media dis&dat.