Monday, 3 Oct 2022

Court tells 4ft 11ins woman that being short is not an illness to cover surgery

A 4ft 11ins woman who insisted an insurance company should cover her limb-lengthening surgery to help her reach her 'dream height' of 5ft 5ins has been told by a German court that being short is not an illness.

The plaintiff insisted that the company should pay for the treatment, and even brought the case before a judge in the city of Bremen in northwest Germany.

The unnamed defendant said that the woman's case was not, and should not be, covered under benefits and did not amount to legal disfigurement.

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She argued that she suffered from Noonan syndrome, a disorder that haults development in the human body, and she should have leg-lengthening surgery paid for.

"Leg lengthening alone was not sufficient to justify this invasive surgery," the insurance provider said in a statement, via DW.

The woman's legal team said that she suffers from "handicaps in everyday life" because of her stature.

She also claimed she was not considered a full person, which justified her need for a height correction operation.

The woman was applying for an procedure that would help her achieve her dream height of between 5ft 3ins and 5ft 5 ins tall.

"The plaintiff had recurring depressive phases. She experiences handicaps in everyday life in the form of an environment that is too high," her representatives said.

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She was even rejected from pilot school, her team said. This was because of her height, which obviously then restricted her in the world of work, they argued.

However, the court ruled in favour of the insurance provider. The woman's height did not constitute an irregular physical condition, the court ruled.

It added that the woman didn't ask for treatment for her condition, but for a procedure to gain height.

According to the court, her "every day handicaps" could be remedied with assisted living and her psychological issues could also be treated with therapy.


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