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April 2012, Volume 42 Number 4 , p 10 - 10


  • Susan A. Salladay PhD, RN


I've been a nurse for 25 years. -During that time, I've watched my younger brother, now 51, battle severe obesity. Dieting hasn't helped and he's given up trying to lose weight. I've always been slender, so he gripes that I can't possibly understand what it's like for him. This issue has strained our relationship. I've thought about suggesting a consult for bariatric surgery, but I'm afraid to broach this sensitive topic. Knowing that surgery could improve his health and his self--esteem, is keeping silent unethical?-K.P., CONN.I sense the tension you feel in your relationship with your brother as well as your loving concern for him. My guess is that he'd appreciate reliable and focused -information: What's this surgery really like? Could it work for me? But note the emphasis on "information." Because you're a caring family member as well as a nurse, be careful to separate -informing from subtly coercing. If you can give him information that he'd value without implying that bariatric surgery

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