New Zealander Jason Patterson wants a weight loss surgery, and he is going on a hunger strike until his government pays for it.
Patterson, a former surfing instructor, needs a hernia operation, but the New Zealand government will not pay for it until he loses at least 110 pounds. He currently weighs 286 pounds.
Specifically, Patterson asked the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), a state-run health insurer, to pay for gastric bypass surgery. However, the ACC does not consider weight gain an “accident.”
“We don’t regard putting on weight to be accidental,” a representative from the agency said.
Until the ACC pays for his gastric bypass surgery, Patterson announced that he will be on hunger strike. He will also be protesting outside the ACC’s main office in Wellington.
“It’s hopefully going to help me, being on hunger strike… because I need to lose weight before my hernia operation,” Patterson said.
The ACC said that it has offered Patterson several different options to help him lose weight, such as providing him with a dietitian or psychologist, but he has remained firm about his desire for gastric bypass surgery.
Patterson has published a series of videos on YouTube explaining his situation.
He claims that he does not overeat, but rather that his obesity is the result of a side effect of a medication he takes.
In one video, Patterson calls the way he has been treated by the ACC “totally disgusting.”
In another profanity-laced video, he calls the ACC’s policies “bullshit.” In the same video, he also admitted that he is living in his car.
Apparently, according to Patterson in that video, he has been “unfairly targeted” by the New Zealand government because of the way he “exposed” the way that the ACC “fucks around with people’s lives.”
Commenters on Patterson’s YouTube videos pointed out that hunger strikes like this are incredibly dangerous, and Patterson should try to find a different, safer way to lose weight.
“I don’t know the circumstances behind your weight, but a hunger strike sounds like the lazy-guy guide to losing weight. And it is SO dangerous. Your organs will shut down before you even reach a third of your goal weight. You’ll feel tired, like you can’t move…” user Martha McClean said.