By Calvin Palmer
A doctor in central Florida has posted a sign outside his practice warning supporters of President Barack Obama to find a different doctor.
Urologist Dr Jack Cassell, of Mount Dora, warns patients, “If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”
Cassell, 56, said he wasn’t questioning patients or refusing care because that would be unethical.
“But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it,” he said.
The doctor provides Republican propaganda in his waiting room, which probably goes well in this strongly conservative town of 10,000 residents.
Above a stack of GOP health care literature, a sign 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.”
The Florida Department of Health’s Division of Medical Quality Assurance, which investigates complaints and handles licensing, has yet to comment.
It is probably under orders from Florida’s Attorney General, another staunch Republican, not to do so.
Professor William Allen, of University of Florida, said Cassell is walking a thin line between right and wrong.
A professor in bioethics, law and medical professionalism, he said civil rights protections prevent patient discrimination. But the law only provides for race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and disability — not political opinion.
Allen said Cassell may be within his rights if he does not question patients about their politics and has not refused to see anyone.
“He is trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation,” Allen said. “But this is pushing the limit.”
Cassell has been practicing in the area since 1988. His wife, Leslie Campione, is a lawyer and GOP candidate for the county commission.
Cassell says most patients have been extremely supportive, though three had complained.
“They know it’s not good for them,” Cassell said.
Of course because that is what they have been told by people like Cassell and, let’s face it, many Republicans in Florida are hardly known for their power of logical and reasoned argument. Bigotry and hypocrisy appear to be their forté.
The whole ethos of right-wing political parties is to stifle debate, preferring instead blind obedience to whatever ill-conceived policies their leaders can come up with.
Methinks Cassell’s sign is an obvious indication that Obama’s health care reform is just what ordinary folks need and that is why it does not sit comfortably with people like him and his smug, self-centered patients.
I wonder if Cassell went into medicine to heal and ease human suffering or simply to get rich? My money is on the latter.
Since he is a urologist, the only fitting response to Cassell, his sign and his extreme politics, is “Piss off!”
[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]