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Surgical Equality

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Thank you for “No Wrong Door” (January 2019, p. 20) about OA’s Statement on Bariatric Surgery. As a member and an intergroup chair, I had been concerned about the controversy in OA over this surgery, which is, as the article states, “deemed by a doctor to be medically necessary.” OA members who undergo weight-loss surgery are not “less than” the rest of us.

Three friends of mine have had bariatric procedures (one is an OA member). One friend had surgery twenty-five years ago for health reasons. The other two had surgery five years ago. For one, it reversed diabetes and kidney failure. For the other, it reversed liver disease. These weight-loss surgeries were lifesaving.

My OA friend is cautious about sharing her surgery story because some have judged her recovery to be less worthy. Even I used to think similarly—that people who had weight-loss surgery somehow “cheated” while I had to do it the hard way! But surgery can be a tool that allows lives to continue working the Twelve Steps, to find a Higher Power and gain that spiritual experience.

I thank WSBC delegates for deciding that bariatric surgery is an outside issue. We have no room to judge others who walk in the doors. Our primary purpose is to help the still-suffering compulsive eater.

— Jo Ellen, Idaho USA

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