Dr. Refuses to treat Obama supporters...


184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
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Taken from the article:

"I'm not turning anybody away — that would be unethical," Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."
While I hardly agree with his mixing medicine and politics like this, I think that he is entitled to his opinion and so long as he does nothing illegal then he can continue as he sees fit.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Saw this in the Tribune. No one should be faced with that when they walk into a doctor's office. That is absolutely terrible.

Taken from the article:



While I hardly agree with his mixing medicine and politics like this, I think that he is entitled to his opinion and so long as he does nothing illegal then he can continue as he sees fit.

However, I would have to seriously question his ability to give adequate care to someone he disagrees with politically. This is wrong, plain and simple. And let's quote the whole article instead of picking and choosing, shall we?

A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere."

"I'm not turning anybody away — that would be unethical," Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."

The sign reads: "If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."

Estella Chatman, 67, of Eustis, whose daughter snapped a photo of the typewritten sign, sent the picture to U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, the Orlando Democrat who riled Republicans last year when he characterized the GOP's idea of health care as, "If you get sick, America … Die quickly."

Chatman said she heard about the sign from a friend referred to Cassell after his physician recently died. She said her friend did not want to speak to a reporter but was dismayed by Cassell's sign.

"He's going to find another doctor," she said.

Cassell may be walking a thin line between his right to free speech and his professional obligation, said William Allen, professor of bioethics, law and medical professionalism at the University of Florida's College of Medicine.

Allen said doctors cannot refuse patients on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability, but political preference is not one of the legally protected categories specified in civil-rights law. By insisting he does not quiz his patients about their politics and has not turned away patients based on their vote, the doctor is "trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation," Allen said.

"But this is pushing the limit," he said.

Cassell, who has practiced medicine in GOP-dominated Lake County since 1988, said he doesn't quiz his patients about their politics, but he also won't hide his disdain for the bill Obama signed and the lawmakers who passed it.

In his waiting room, Cassell also has provided his patients with photocopies of a health-care timeline produced by Republican leaders that outlines "major provisions" in the health-care package. The doctor put a sign above the stack of copies that reads: "This is what the morons in Washington have done to your health care. Take one, read it and vote out anyone who voted for it."

Cassell, whose lawyer wife, Leslie Campione, has declared herself a Republican candidate for Lake County commissioner, said three patients have complained, but most have been "overwhelmingly supportive" of his position.

"They know it's not good for them," he said.

Cassell, who previously served as chief of surgery at Florida Hospital Waterman in Tavares, said a patient's politics would not affect his care for them, although he said he would prefer not to treat people who support the president.

"I can at least make a point," he said.

The notice on Cassell's office door could cause some patients to question his judgment or fret about the care they might receive if they don't share his political views, Allen said. He said doctors are wise to avoid public expressions that can affect the physician-patient relationship.

Erin VanSickle, spokeswoman for the Florida Medical Association, would not comment specifically.

But she noted in an e-mail to the Sentinel that "physicians are extended the same rights to free speech as every other citizen in the United States."

The outspoken Grayson described Cassell's sign as "ridiculous."

"I'm disgusted," he said. "Maybe he thinks the Hippocratic Oath says, ‘Do no good.' If this is the face of the right wing in America, it's the face of cruelty. … Why don't they change the name of the Republican Party to the Sore Loser Party?"
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
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The Mergui Archipelago
Although the article says that this doctor is willing to treat patients who voted for obama (but hopes they'll be turned away) I consider this to go against the very ethics of being a physician. You are there to be non-judgemental. You are there to objectively treat the patient in front of you. Who an individual votes for has absolutely zero to do with their medical complaint. He's completely lost sight of what one should be in medicine for.
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,128
2
Midwest USA
He's a private businessman. He can choose to treat whomever he pleases. He's violating neither the law nor ethics of his profession.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
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However, I would have to seriously question his ability to give adequate care to someone he disagrees with politically.
From the link to the article the OP cites, the doctor admits to not asking about political preferences. So unless the person in question openly admits that they voted for Obama and still wants to seek care from such a person, then he would need to actively 'discriminate' against all his current clients. Which I doubt he is doing.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
He's a private businessman. He can choose to treat whomever he pleases. He's violating neither the law nor ethics of his profession.
He cannot choose who he wants to treat. You're misinformed. Read the article.

From the link to the article the OP cites, the doctor admits to not asking about political preferences. So unless the person in question openly admits that they voted for Obama and still wants to seek care from such a person, then he would need to actively 'discriminate' against all his current clients. Which I doubt he is doing.
Then why bother putting up the sign? That's a very fine line he's walking.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,061
He's a private businessman. He can choose to treat whomever he pleases. He's violating neither the law nor ethics of his profession.
So if a person was dying, you would have no problem with a doctor turning him/her away because he voted for Obama, Palin, etc?
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
The doctor is entitled to his opinion - he is doing nothing illegal by expressing it. Democrats should have thought of this before they forced ObamaCare upon the medical profession!
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
583
The Mergui Archipelago
Sorry but I don't see the mention of politics in there.
It might nto be explicitly stated but as a doctor you treat everyone objectively, irrespective of X. That's the ethics you sign up for and abide by. If you can't manage it you're not in it for the best of your patients. Placing signs to discourage individuals from attending your clinic on grounds of X is absolutely and utterly unnecessary.
 

184550

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May 8, 2008
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Then why bother putting up the sign? That's a very fine line he's walking.
I completely agree that he shouldn't be doing this, however, this seems to be protected under the current set of laws and until those laws are changed, he is entitled to do as he sees fit and as is within his legal right to.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
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It might nto be explicitly stated but as a doctor you treat everyone objectively, irrespective of X. That's the ethics you sign up for and abide by. If you can't manage it you're not in it for the best of your patients. Placing signs to discourage individuals from attending your clinic on grounds of X is absolutely and utterly unnecessary.
I completely agree. However, he is within his legal right to do so at the present time.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,043
1,174
5045 feet above sea level
The doctor is entitled to his opinion - he is doing nothing illegal by expressing it. Democrats should have thought of this before they forced ObamaCare upon the medical profession!
The doctor is entitled to his personal opinion.. for his personal life, not his professional dealings

That opinion is not one to be portrayed by the services he provides

Personally, I hope he gets his license taken away

I completely agree that he shouldn't be doing this, however, this seems to be protected under the current set of laws and until those laws are changed, he is entitled to do as he sees fit and as is within his legal right to.

I argue otherwsie. The intent of those laws clearly cover this. Any court would see it that way.

What do you want, every case of potential discrimination written in black an white? How about he not provide services to those of black hair? It's legal right according to you, no?
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,128
2
Midwest USA
Of course he can refuse on any of those bases, as long as it doesn't violate any agreements he has with any federally or state funded programs. That would be illegal.

And as long as it's not an emergency. That would be unethical.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
The Hippocratic Oath (Modern Version)[10]

“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.