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Florida doctor tells Obama voters to ‘seek care elsewhere’

By John Byrne
Friday, April 2, 2010 9:38 EDT
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Update (at bottom): Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) files complaint against discriminating doctor

A Florida urologist, apparently in response to Democrats’ new health care overhaul, has posted a sign on his door telling patients who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election to seek care elsewhere.

The sign was photographed and posted online by the Orlando Sentinel.

“I’m not turning anybody away — that would be unethical,” the doctor, Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, told the Sentinel on Thursday. “But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”

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

Experts surveyed by the newspaper said that Cassel’s signage isn’t illegal — political preference isn’t protected by civil rights law. A professor of bioethics told the paper Cassell was “pushing the limit,” but that by saying he doesn’t ask his patients about their politics and hasn’t himself turned patients away, he’s beyond the purview of US law.

The 56-year-old urologist told the paper his patients have been “overwhelmingly supportive” and that “they know [Democrats' health care reform is] not good for them,” he said.

A poll posted on the Sentinel’s website showed that those who voted on the story were supportive of the doctor’s position, with nearly 70 percent saying “good for him.” Such polls are notoriously unreliable, since they can be targeted by partisans from both sides of the aisle.

Update: Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) files complaint against discriminating doctor

In a recent CNN appearance, Rep. Grayson told host Anderson Cooper that he’s filed a formal complaint against Dr. Cassell with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Medical board.

“He’s a very confused individual. That much is obvious,” Grayson said. “But what he’s doing clearly is a violation of the ethics rules that you cited earlier, the Hippocratic oath, the rules of the AMA. And it’s at the expense of his patients and care. What he’s doing is no different from saying, ‘I will not treat a black person. I will not treat a Catholic.’

“I thought that we, as a country, has moved beyond that.”

This video was snipped from CNN by Crooks and Liars.

Stephen C. Webster contributed to this report.

 
 
 
 
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