Saturday, April 03, 2010

A little too far

So I found myself on MSN today (weird, I know), and I saw this story on the front page.  A urologist, Dr. Jack Cassell, in Mount Dora, FL, put up a sign outside his office saying:

If you voted for Obama... seek urologic care elsewhere.  Changes to your healthcare begin right now.  Not in four years.

Granted, he is in a heavily Republican area and he says he will not refuse treatment to anyone who walks in the door.  "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."

But still, are you kidding me?  Having political opinions and all is fine, but putting that sign outside a building that is supposed to provide healthcare to people who need it is just going too far.  Mount Dora has a population of ~10,000, and considering he's a specialist, chances are that there aren't many, if any, other urologists in that town.  So if you are an Obama supporter, and your primary care physician referred you there, you have to be asking yourself: do I really want this guy to treat me for my prostate cancer?

I'm not sure if he treats prostate cancer specifically at all, but some urologists do.  Either way, I'll admit that I severely doubt he would do anything unethical in the treatment of his patients because of their political beliefs.  My problem here is that he's intimidating patients before they even come into his office, and he's in a position of quite a bit of power in treating people with very sensitive health problems.  It's absolutely unnecessary and irresponsible for a doctor to do something like that.

I'm an atheist, and I realize that the vast majority of my future patients will be religious in one form another.  That's fine; I'm not going to post a sign outside my office that says "If you believe in a god, ask him to find you another doctor."  I got into medicine because I'm willing to accept that what I'm going to do as a doctor is much larger than myself.  It's not about my personal beliefs -- religious, political, or otherwise -- it's about what's best for the people I'm helping.

Emotions are just running way too hot right now and it's making people forget what's really important.  Healthcare is about more than President Obama, Democrats, and/or Republicans.  Dr. Cassell, try to remember that before you make an ass of yourself and tarnish your profession's image.

1 comment:

Lost Creation said...

Makes me wonder if the doc has any idea what's actually in the law. From what I understand of it, I don't see how it could be anything except a "win" for doctors.

If we were talking about a plan with a single payer, I could understand the nervousness -- particularly since no one would really know what that payer would be paying for procedures until the bureaucrats got done with it. But a plan that forces millions (?) of uninsured to buy insurance?

Maybe he just doesn't like his job, so the prospect of hundreds of new (paying!) patients doesn't appeal to him.