Jack Casell: Doctor Refuses to Treat Obama Supporters

Suzanne Murray
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hippocrates
Flickr photo by Tony the Misfit
A Florida doctor posted a sign on his office door that said: "If you voted for Obama ... seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years."

In response to charges that the sign is unethical, Jack Casell, M.D., a registered republican, told the Orlando Sentinel, "I'm not turning anybody away ... but if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."

Inside Cassell's waiting room, there's a stack of pamphlets opposing the new health care law, and a sign reading, "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."

When asked by My Fox news if he thought his actions might make an Obama supporter uncomfortable in seeking care from him, he replied, "I'm not here to alter my care according to political affiliation -- this is about patient education."

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

Doctors cannot refuse patients on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability, however, political preference is not a legally protected category. 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."

U.S. Representative Alan Grayson, an Orlando Democrat (who last year quipped that the Republican stance on health care is "If you get sick America ... Die quickly"), said of Cassell's sign: "I'm disgusted. 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."

On Vitals.com, Cassell gets an overall rating of poor.

In an interview with radio host Alan Holmes, Cassell admits he doesn't know what's in the bill.

If you voted for Obama, would you feel comfortable going to this doctor and having him treat you? Do you think he has the right to keep his sign on his office door?

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