Courtesy Deidre Lewis/Orlando Sentinel
This is what patients visiting Florida urologist Jack Cassell will see when they visit his office. According to the Orlando Sentinel
, Cassell, a registered Republican, is ordering patients who voted for Obama to seek care elsewhere. “Changes to your healthcare being right now. Not in four years” reads the sign.
“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 decision, according to William Allen, professor of bioethics at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, is a tricky one. Allen said the doctor is “walking a thin line between his freedom of speech and his professional obligation,” according to the Sentinel.
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.
More from the article:
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.
Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson criticized the sign:
“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?”
Right on, Grayson. The reaction to the health care bill’s passage has been one of amazement and bewilderment. I have never, EVER witnessed such petty and child-like behavior coming from the conservatives and Republicans. From Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck declaring this war isn’t over to the 13 states lining up to sue the federal government, this health care bill has brought out the worst (who would have thought there was more disgusting antics to be discovered from the rgiht) among the conservatives in this country.
It’s ironic that four years ago, this type of bickering would have been denounced as un-American and unpatriotic and those criticizing the government would have been told to pack up and leave this country. Funny how these folks aren’t taking their own advice.