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Doctor doesn't want to treat Obama voters

U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question from the audience as he discusses the economy at a speech at Celgard, a battery parts maker in Charlotte, N.C., April 2, 2010. UPI/Nell Redmond.
1 of 2 | U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question from the audience as he discusses the economy at a speech at Celgard, a battery parts maker in Charlotte, N.C., April 2, 2010. UPI/Nell Redmond. | License Photo

MOUNT DORA, Fla., April 2 (UPI) -- A doctor in Florida has posted a sign outside his office telling people if they voted for President Barack Obama they should find another doctor.

The type-written sign on Dr. Jack Cassell's office door in Mount Dora states: "If you voted for Obama ... seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."

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Cassell told the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel he's "not turning anybody away -- that would be unethical."

"But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it," he said.

He said a patient's political views would not affect how he treats them should they ignore the sign and enter his office.

William Allen, a bioethics, law and medical professionalism professor at the University of Florida's College of Medicine, said Cassell's use of his right to free speech to express his displeasure with national healthcare reform is close to butting up against his professional obligation not to discriminate against patients, the Sentinel said.

Allen said Cassell is "trying to hold on to the nub of his ethical obligation" by insisting he doesn't ask patients about their political leanings and hasn't rejected any based on their vote.

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"But this is pushing the limit," he said.

The Sentinel reported Thursday Florida Medical Association spokeswoman Erin VanSickle said "physicians are extended the same rights to free speech as every other citizen in the United States."

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., said he's "disgusted" by Cassell's sign.

"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," Grayson said.

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