Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

Dr. Jack Cassell: If You Voted for Obama, Seek Healthcare Elsewhere

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Dr. Jack Cassell:  If You Voted for Obama, Seek Healthcare ElsewhereMount Dora, FL, urologist Dr. Jack Cassell is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame after posting a typewritten sign on his office door that tells patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek healthcare “elsewhere”.  The sign reads:  “If you voted for Obama…seek urologic care elsewhere.  Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”  Cassell, a registered Republican who opposes healthcare reform, says “I’m not turning anybody away – that would be unethical.”

William Allen, a professor of bioethics, law and medical professionalism at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, believes that Cassell might be walking a fine line between his right to free speech and his professional obligation.  Physicians are not allowed to refuse patients on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability; but political preference is not one of the legally protected groups specified in civil rights laws.  Because Cassell does not ask his patients who they voted for, he is “trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation,” Allen said.  “But this is pushing the limit.”

Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL), whose district includes Mount Dora and who last fall criticized the Republican approach to healthcare reform as “If you get sick, America…die quickly”, called Cassell’s sign “Ridiculous.  I’m disgusted.”  According to the first-term Congressman, “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?”