Florida doctor tells Obama supporters: Go elsewhere

DrBowtie

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I guess if you're handling dicks all day it's bound to rub off on you.

In all seriousness, he is a doctor who is discouraging people with physical ailments from seeking treatment because he doesn't like those who disagree with his politics. Sure, they can go somewhere else, but I fear the consequences of the example he is setting for other physicians. Don't try to make this more complicated than it is. He is a medical professional. Read the Hippocratic Oath and try to reconcile his actions with any of the tenents listed therein. How anyone can defend this kind of behavior is beyond me. If you're a doctor and someone comes to you who is sick, you treat them, whether they are an atheist, a communist, a criminal or anything else you might disagree with that doesn't have anything to do with treating their ailment. C'mon, people. I'm (hopefully) going to be working with you one day...
Hope you don't want to be a surgeon or are monotheistic because you'd be breaking the Oath too. I hope you realize how silly the oath is.
 
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Good for him. I wish more doctors would speak out against this instead of keeping it to themselves. Politics are encroaching on medicine enough already.
Yeah! Keep your government hands off of our government medicare!

Should we end all government intervention in health care or only that which could decrease our potential earning power? That is, is it government intervention or government intervention when it decreases profit that you are against?
 

psipsina

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Yea I did. He was trying to prevent a class action lawsuit by not physically witholding services when asked to provide one. But his intent was quite clear with his sign(ie he doesn't want to provide services to obama supporters).
Physicians have the right to refuse care as long as it isn't abandonment. If he was already caring for you he would have to give you written notice and a reasonable amount of time to find another physician. If not he has no duty to care for you unless he is the only provider in a reasonable travel distance who can perform a service for a patient. There is no law stating the reasons he can or can't refuse care, it can be simply "I don't really like you". Granted doing it over politics is a douchebag move but there are douchebag doctors out there. I've heard of people refusing to take on lawyers as patients numerous times.

Regardless of whether or not this guy wants me as his patient, I know I don't want him as my physician. I think its nice to have him advertise his douchebaggery on his door, usually I'm out a co-pay by the time I figure this out about a potential physician.
 

MegaProjectile

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He's indirectly taking it out on representatives who voted for the health care reform. If it affects the constituents, the constituents will toss out the bad representative and replace him/her with a good one to make the fix that best helps them out. The fix may be a patch or a complete repeal. That's how this system works. What did you want him to do to "the big man"? Go to DC and start a fist fight? Yeah that'll work. If DC is going to politically attack doctors, doctors should be able to politically fight back.
What should the doctor do? Well, if he feels insulted, then don't take any government insurance. That's what some doctors are doing. Stick to private insurance. It may hurt your bank account but at least you're sticking to your principle.

Doctors end up losing money on medicare and medicaid patients because those programs both underpay and/or pay late. When I say losing money, I mean an example I've heard where a doctor does a minor medicare procedure and doesn't even get reimbursed enough for the cost of the supplies. Why do you think some doctors take very few medicaid patients if at all? That program is even worse than medicare is. I guess those fat cat doctors in their monopoly man suits and tophats are just being greedy pigs withholding public services that people are entitled to. Or they're taking the initiative to make smart business decisions, so that not only are they forced to close their office down, but perhaps lay off the employees that work there too.
Doctors have a right to work towards fair reimbursement and the AMA is working to repeal SGR formula when Congress resumes. You don't in the meantime use passive-aggressive tactics to withhold services from those of different political leaning. It's cheap move and no bravery involved(the guy is nearing retirement age so he doesn't have much to lose). Wanna be brave? Don't take Medicare but since most urologic patients are on Medicare that would hurt his bottom line. So this guy wants to make cheap political show but be absolved of the real financial consequences.


I'm in college so there is plenty of irresponsibility to observe on a weekly basis. I know kids who get drunk, punch refrigerators, break their hands, and oops! no health insurance. I wonder who's fault that one was. Maybe they shouldn't have bought a bunch of new clothes when they had perfectly good ones, spent several thousands of dollars on a guitar, a fish tank with exotic fish, rock band, alcohol, and cigarettes. Gotta feed those addictions! What about another person who in a drunken stupor of drop kicks (for fun!) injured their knee and is freaking out when they shouldn't have been jumping up and down like an effin pansy in the first place. No insurance, but a bunch of new clothes bi-weekly, alcohol, a sweet computer, and perhaps some illegal drugs. But how did they pay for their healthcare??? OMG!!How about the charity fund the hospital holds if they prove with financial documents that they in fact cannot afford the help. Whoa, with all the speeches given about our health care "crisis", you would have thought these people would have immediately walked out on the curb and proceeded to die hopelessly. These people in all honesty probably didn't deserve the help they got but they got it anyway and it was well before Obama saved the day with his health bill larger than the Encyclopedia Britannica.
College kids don't deserve the healthcare reform they got because they are acting like..........kids?:rolleyes: So we should just let them end up in the emergency rooms with no insurance right? Either way, I'd rather have their parents pay than to treat them free at the emergency room.
 

plauto

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He's not refusing care, he's just restricting it. And, as other people have said, except for some very specific situations, it is within your rights as a physician not to offer care. While this might seem awful at first, there will be several instances in which you won't feel comfortable offering your services.
 

MegaProjectile

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He's not refusing care, he's just restricting it. And, as other people have said, except for some very specific situations, it is within your rights as a physician not to offer care. While this might seem awful at first, there will be several instances in which you won't feel comfortable offering your services.

I know he's not physically refusing care but rather using indirect tactics(very smart move). He may be within his rights to refuse care but what if your action affects 95% of African Americans? Some of his black patients might ignore the sign at the door and still go in for care but I wonder how many will be turned away by the sign?
 

plauto

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I know he's not physically refusing care but rather using indirect tactics(very smart move). He may be within his rights to refuse care but what if your action affects 95% of African Americans? Some of his black patients might ignore the sign at the door and still go in for care but I wonder how many will be turned away by the sign?
what does this have to do with African Americans?
 

apumic

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College kids don't deserve the healthcare reform they got because they are acting like..........kids?:rolleyes: So we should just let them end up in the emergency rooms with no insurance right? Either way, I'd rather have their parents pay than to treat them free at the emergency room.
You ARE kidding, right?

You realize someone over age 18 (but under ~25) is a young adult, not a child, right? An 18-year-old (much less a 21-year-old) who doesn't have the self-control to not punch walls; drink in unsafe situations; or avoid overtly risky behaviors is far behind the 8-ball. Unfortunately, our culture has been fostering this sort of behavior for the last few decades. Think back, though -- it wasn't that long ago that people were getting married at age 13-14 (for women) and 16-17 (for men). Now you could try and argue that this was "unhealthy" (which is a fallacious cultural judgment to make) or they had shorter lifespans (true, but irrelevant), but the fact remains that to maintain those marriages, both people had to be far more mature than the average 13-17-year-old is today. To call college students "kids" is only furthering the attitude that people in college should be immature and promoting a regression of responsibility and maturity. If anything, someone with a college education should be considered more responsible for the consequences of his/her actions. Nixing all gov't healthcare aid (except on a case-by-case basis for less-preventable or long-term/chronic illnesses) to anyone ages 18-25 might actually have some positive behavioral effects on students. Of course, for those effects to occur, one would have to observe their results (i.e., people walking around with severe deformities, neck braces, etc., due to injuries they sustained but lacked the resources to get treated) and such an approach would be highly unethical. Still, it would likely work if there were some way of providing similar education in an ethical manner.
 

MegaProjectile

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what does this have to do with African Americans?
Well considering that 95% of African Americans voted for him, I'm sure they are in that "Obama supporters" camp. The doctor may not be targeting AA directly with his sign but that may be one of the result.
 

armybound

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Well considering that 95% of African Americans voted for him, I'm sure they are in that "Obama supporters" camp. The doctor may not be targeting AA directly with his sign but that may be one of the result.
Unintended consequence, I'm sure.
 

plauto

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Well considering that 95% of African Americans voted for him, I'm sure they are in that "Obama supporters" camp. The doctor may not be targeting AA directly with his sign but that may be one of the result.
maybe yes, maybe not.
 
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Where in the hippocratic oath does it say that a physician is required to treat every patient that comes to him?
Not nonmalfeasance nor beneficence require him to.

Check your facts, get off your high horse, stop thinking you are better than physicians who came decades before you.

He is a medical professional. Read the Hippocratic Oath and try to reconcile his actions with any of the tenents listed therein. How anyone can defend this kind of behavior is beyond me. If you're a doctor and someone comes to you who is sick, you treat them, whether they are an atheist, a communist, a criminal or anything else you might disagree with that doesn't have anything to do with treating their ailment. C'mon, people. I'm (hopefully) going to be working with you one day...
 

richse

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His wife is running for office. You don't think this has at least a little to do with drumming up support/exposure for her?
 

richse

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Bucketmouse-
Where in the hippocratic oath does it say that a physician is required to treat every patient that comes to him?
Not nonmalfeasance nor beneficence require him to.

Check your facts, get off your high horse, stop thinking you are better than physicians who came decades before you.

Wow, I can't believe this came from a medical student. Makes me sad. Let's take a simple example:

Imagine a patient was referred by his primary care doc to this urologist then left without being seen because of the sign. Now the patient is looking for a new doc to go see in his small town and even when he finds one it takes another couple weeks to get an appointment. Meanwhile the symptoms that drove him to his primary are from an aggressive tumor that was originally small and treatable but is growing larger and less treatable by he day. I don't see how anyone could say this act of putting a sign in the window that may drive patients away does not contradict non-maleficence.
 

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Wow, I can't believe this came from a medical student. Makes me sad. Let's take a simple example:

Imagine a patient was referred by his primary care doc to this urologist then left without being seen because of the sign. Now the patient is looking for a new doc to go see in his small town and even when he finds one it takes another couple weeks to get an appointment. Meanwhile the symptoms that drove him to his primary are from an aggressive tumor that was originally small and treatable but is growing larger and less treatable by he day. I don't see how anyone could say this act of putting a sign in the window that may drive patients away does not contradict non-maleficence.
:smack:
 
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I think people really misunderstand the Hippocratic oath.
Yeah, at this point it's more of a historical concept than an oath we take. It's neat because IIRC it is the first western record of medical ethics, but a physician who subscribed to it completely would be in quite the pickle.
 

plauto

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Wow, I can't believe this came from a medical student. Makes me sad. Let's take a simple example:

Imagine a patient was referred by his primary care doc to this urologist then left without being seen because of the sign. Now the patient is looking for a new doc to go see in his small town and even when he finds one it takes another couple weeks to get an appointment. Meanwhile the symptoms that drove him to his primary are from an aggressive tumor that was originally small and treatable but is growing larger and less treatable by he day. I don't see how anyone could say this act of putting a sign in the window that may drive patients away does not contradict non-maleficence.
Don't worry, we'll send them all to you.....
 
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Well, the poster is certainly technically correct (the best kind of correct).

His mistake is forgetting about the other three "pillars" of medical ethics, one of which is autonomy. In this case, the violation of autonomy would be great, while the violation of non-maleficience relatively small. As a result, I think autonomy wins this time around.

Also, it's not like the doctor is actually doing anything about this. He's making a political statement, but it's not like he's going to hire a private investigator to figure out his patient's political leanings.

As an aside, given the huge problem in the US health care service of unnecessary medication/treatment and the sort of outrageous density of urologists in Florida, bizarrely, this guy is probably doing folks a favor, even if that wasn't the intention.
 

TooMuchResearch

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Yeah! Keep your government hands off of our government medicare!

Should we end all government intervention in health care or only that which could decrease our potential earning power? That is, is it government intervention or government intervention when it decreases profit that you are against?
:love:
 

richse

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Well, the poster is certainly technically correct (the best kind of correct).

His mistake is forgetting about the other three "pillars" of medical ethics, one of which is autonomy. In this case, the violation of autonomy would be great, while the violation of non-maleficience relatively small. As a result, I think autonomy wins this time around.

Also, it's not like the doctor is actually doing anything about this. He's making a political statement, but it's not like he's going to hire a private investigator to figure out his patient's political leanings.

As an aside, given the huge problem in the US health care service of unnecessary medication/treatment and the sort of outrageous density of urologists in Florida, bizarrely, this guy is probably doing folks a favor, even if that wasn't the intention.
Autonomy is not about scaring patients away because they don't agree with you politically. There is also a reason it's "FIRST, do no harm."
 
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DrBowtie: "Hope you don't want to be a surgeon or are monotheistic because you'd be breaking the Oath too. I hope you realize how silly the oath is."

weightyheart: "Where in the hippocratic oath does it say that a physician is required to treat every patient that comes to him? Not nonmalfeasance nor beneficence require him to."

armybound: "I think people really misunderstand the Hippocratic oath."


I understand that the Hippocratic Oath is not a legally binding document and that doctors are not required to adhere to it. It was only my intention to point out that his actions do not line up with the *spirit* of the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, which I see as a good overview of the ethics a doctor should harbor. I understand that there are all kinds of reasons that a doctor may practice and that there are many different personality types. Some may very well be douche bags. Some may only do it for the money. And I certainly understand that a physician has a legal right, under the proper circumstances, to deny care.


But, restricting my opinion to the case at hand, I believe that this doctor in this instance is behaving in a childish manner and that the consequences of his actions will be harmful rather than beneficial to his community. The primary thought that I would want anyone taking away from my opinion on the whole thing is this: **In my opinion**, if you are a doctor and someone comes to you who is sick, YOU TREAT THEM. Keep in mind that, just as with any rule, there are exceptions in extreme circumstances. Furthermore, it is also my opinion that the last thing you should do is refuse to treat someone because they represent the opposing side of your tiny "DemoRAT" vs. "RepubliTARD" universe.
 
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Wow, I can't believe this came from a medical student. Makes me sad. Let's take a simple example:

Imagine a patient was referred by his primary care doc to this urologist then left without being seen because of the sign. Now the patient is looking for a new doc to go see in his small town and even when he finds one it takes another couple weeks to get an appointment. Meanwhile the symptoms that drove him to his primary are from an aggressive tumor that was originally small and treatable but is growing larger and less treatable by he day. I don't see how anyone could say this act of putting a sign in the window that may drive patients away does not contradict non-maleficence.

You embarrass yourself in more than one way.

Nonmalfeasance means do no harm. It means that it is our professional responsibility to not use our position or special skills to act on others with an intention to cause harm.

Now that you are a medical student, please read up on what malfeasance is and then what nonmalfeasance means to a doctor. It does not mean donate all your time and money, treat everyone who is sick in this world, at all times of the day, without receiving payment, because to not do so would mean that someone somewhere may or may not be harmed by you not doing so.

Legally, the doctor has 'no duty' to treat those who are not their patient, and it is the doctor's right to refuse to voluntarily accept someone as their patient for a number of reasons.

It is the patient's responsibility to see a doctor. If a doctor refuses care for one or another reason, it is again the patient's responsibility to find another doctor who will see them. This is our right to life. We have a right to see as many doctors and do whatever we can in order to preserve our own lives.
 

richse

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You embarrass yourself in more than one way.

Nonmalfeasance means do no harm. It means that it is our professional responsibility to not use our position or special skills to act on others with an intention to cause harm.

Now that you are a medical student, please read up on what malfeasance is and then what nonmalfeasance means to a doctor. It does not mean donate all your time and money, treat everyone who is sick in this world, at all times of the day, without receiving payment, because to not do so would mean that someone somewhere may or may not be harmed by you not doing so.

Legally, the doctor has 'no duty' to treat those who are not their patient, and it is the doctor's right to refuse to voluntarily accept someone as their patient for a number of reasons.

It is the patient's responsibility to see a doctor. If a doctor refuses care for one or another reason, it is again the patient's responsibility to find another doctor who will see them. This is our right to life. We have a right to see as many doctors and do whatever we can in order to preserve our own lives.
I am not embarrassed by my take on nonmaleficence. I realize this is going to come down to a matter of opinion so I doubt either of us will be swaying the other. Nevertheless, I think you are taking far to narrow a view of nonmaleficence. By putting the sign in his window the doctor could easily cause harm to a patient. You seem to think that refusing to treat a patient can't cause harm because the patient can/should just find another doctor. This is simply not true. Even the doctor in the article knows he shouldn't be refusing patients by his statements that he will treat anyone. He just thinks it's ok if they are driven away by the sign before they get in to be treated. To me, this sign is tantamount to the doctor posting a sign saying all people of a certain religion or race should seek care elsewhere. The only difference I can see is that the law says one discrimination is protected against and not the other.
 

armybound

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I disagree, his action of putting that sign in his window may cause harm to a patient.
So scheduling an appointment for 2 weeks in the future is harming the patient too, then?

There are many different ways to get care. If that patient feels s/he needs to be seen immediately, they can go to any other clinic or hospital that has the time and staff to see them.
 
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I disagree, his action of putting that sign in his window may cause harm to a patient.
i assume what you mean by that is if the patient walks away and he/she is actually sick and thus being harmed?

if thats the case then its still not the doctors fault since its the patient's choice to walk away, not the doctors. altho i see some small portion of negligence involved but its still mainly the patients fault.
 

richse

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So scheduling an appointment for 2 weeks in the future is harming the patient too, then?

There are many different ways to get care. If that patient feels s/he needs to be seen immediately, they can go to any other clinic or hospital that has the time and staff to see them.

I would argue that scheduling a patient for 2 weeks in the future because you are booked up with OTHER patients is not the same as putting up a sign that will cause patients who have appointments with you to turn around at the door and find another doctor. Not all things that delay a patient seeing a doctor are preventable but some things (i.e. signs put up in anger) are preventable. In the news story a patient was referred to this doctor and turned around at the door after seeing the sign. If you think that doesn't cause an unnecessary delay in treatment for that patient then I don't think we can have a reasonable debate.
 

armybound

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I would argue that scheduling a patient for 2 weeks in the future because you are booked up with OTHER patients is not the same as putting up a sign that will cause patients who have appointments with you to turn around at the door and find another doctor. Not all things that delay a patient seeing a doctor are preventable but some things (i.e. signs put up in anger) are preventable. In the news story a patient was referred to this doctor and turned around at the door after seeing the sign. If you think that doesn't cause an unnecessary delay in treatment for that patient then I don't think we can have a reasonable debate.
And there is no guarantee that you will be seen by any physician if you walk into their practice without an appointment. There's no difference between this and turning down certain types of insurance. It's inconvenient for the patient, but there is no malice. You do not introduce an ounce of additional harm that the patient was not already subjected to. That patient is free to go anywhere else to seek treatment.
 

richse

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And there is no guarantee that you will be seen by any physician if you walk into their practice without an appointment. There's no difference between this and turning down certain types of insurance. It's inconvenient for the patient, but there is no malice. You do not introduce an ounce of additional harm that the patient was not already subjected to. That patient is free to go anywhere else to seek treatment.
The patient had an appointment! This is completely different. Do you think when they called to make the appointment that the receptionist said "oh by the way, if you voted for Obama you shouldn't make this appointment." The patient discovered the feelings of the doctor when they came for the appointment. I was never writing about some kind of walk in type situation.
 

armybound

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The patient had an appointment! This is completely different. Do you think when they called to make the appointment that the receptionist said "oh by the way, if you voted for Obama you shouldn't make this appointment." The patient discovered the feelings of the doctor when they came for the appointment. I was never writing about some kind of walk in type situation.
And he has also said he wouldn't ask anyone who they voted for or refuse anyone based on who they voted for. The patient made a choice not to be seen that day. I'm sure the sign was scary, but if they felt that they needed immediate medical attention they could have at least asked.

I can understand where you'd have a moral or ethical objection to the sign, but he is still seeing patients regardless of their political affiliation if they choose to be seen.
 

richse

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And he has also said he wouldn't ask anyone who they voted for or refuse anyone based on who they voted for. The patient made a choice not to be seen that day. I'm sure the sign was scary, but if they felt that they needed immediate medical attention they could have at least asked.

I can understand where you'd have a moral or ethical objection to the sign, but he is still seeing patients regardless of their political affiliation if they choose to be seen.
Two problems with your reasoning.

1. The doctor put the sign up he created the environment that caused the patient to feel as if they were not welcome to be treated. The sign did not say "I suggest you seek care elsewhere but I will treat you even if you did vote for Obama." He wasn't outside telling people that he would treat them regardless of their vote. It was easy to interpret the sign as an indication the doctor would not treat the patient. He pretty much said that was the point. At the very least, you would have to worry that he wouldn't treat you equally. You say the patient could have at least asked. Asked what? If the sign out there really means what is says or if the doc is just kidding? I'm assuming from your screen name that you are in the military. If someone posted a sign "Military personnel seek care elsewhere" would you really go on in and ask if they really mean it. Then, if they said yeah we mean it but we'll treat you if you want. You're telling me you would stick around?

2. You are expecting the patient to know if they need immediate medical attention. That's pretty ridiculous. There are serious conditions that the patient could have without the slightest hint (to the patient) that they are in need of immediate care. The patient went to their doc, got a referral, made an appointment, and came to see this doctor. I don't see how you could expect them to have more insight than that.
 
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I can understand where you'd have a moral or ethical objection to the sign, but he is still seeing patients regardless of their political affiliation if they choose to be seen.
Whether you agree with what the doctor did or not, it is pretty easy to see that the implication was that he did not wish to treat Obama supporters. Probably the reason he did not outright say "I will not treat Obama supporters" or something like that is because he wanted to avoid any potential lawsuits etc. (I will admit that I am ignorant of the law here and thus am just guessing that it could be deemed illegal to discriminate against patients due to their political beliefs)

I'm just wondering.. what if the doctor had put something like "Jews, go seek treatment elsewhere" or "Blacks, go seek treatment elsewhere". Would that have been illegal? If so, is it illegal to discriminate based on race but legal to discriminate based on political affiliation? Any law students in here?
 

RogueUnicorn

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What the hell kind of sissy-ass sign would that be?

He had his opinion and served it in black and white [none of this 'shades of gray' hypothetical/alternative options crap your speaking of]. High five for his courage in the face of what others think.
unethical idiotic bravado is definitely courage.
 

armybound

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Two problems with your reasoning.

1. The doctor put the sign up he created the environment that caused the patient to feel as if they were not welcome to be treated. The sign did not say "I suggest you seek care elsewhere but I will treat you even if you did vote for Obama." He wasn't outside telling people that he would treat them regardless of their vote. It was easy to interpret the sign as an indication the doctor would not treat the patient. He pretty much said that was the point. At the very least, you would have to worry that he wouldn't treat you equally. You say the patient could have at least asked. Asked what? If the sign out there really means what is says or if the doc is just kidding? I'm assuming from your screen name that you are in the military. If someone posted a sign "Military personnel seek care elsewhere" would you really go on in and ask if they really mean it. Then, if they said yeah we mean it but we'll treat you if you want. You're telling me you would stick around?

2. You are expecting the patient to know if they need immediate medical attention. That's pretty ridiculous. There are serious conditions that the patient could have without the slightest hint (to the patient) that they are in need of immediate care. The patient went to their doc, got a referral, made an appointment, and came to see this doctor. I don't see how you could expect them to have more insight than that.
I'm not in the military, but you can see how assumption often leads you to the wrong conclusion. A more accurate method of ascertaining that information would have been to ask me directly. You can see the correlate between this situation and the patient's. My screen name may have made you think one thing, but the only way to know for sure was to ask.
But again, I'm not questioning whether or not this sign is wrong. I think my initial post in this thread was one of shock. I don't agree with the sign at all, or the sentiment behind it, but I don't think it introduced any NEW risk to the patient.

To your second point, it sounds to me like you feel that the patient was in some kind of immediate danger that needed to be treated immediately or the patient's condition would worsen. We don't know. Only that physician knows, or whoever the patient ultimately ended up seeing. The patient could have wanted Viagra for all we know, or it could have been a followup for some other procedure. Maybe the patient was about to find out that they had some incredibly invasive prostatic cancer and getting seen a couple hours earlier could have made a significant different -- and maybe not. You can't say for sure. Regardless, the patient had whatever the patient had and unless they were actively stroking out, I doubt a couple of hours will have made a significant difference in their health.
 

RogueUnicorn

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Whether you agree with what the doctor did or not, it is pretty easy to see that the implication was that he did not wish to treat Obama supporters. Probably the reason he did not outright say "I will not treat Obama supporters" or something like that is because he wanted to avoid any potential lawsuits etc. (I will admit that I am ignorant of the law here and thus am just guessing that it could be deemed illegal to discriminate against patients due to their political beliefs)

I'm just wondering.. what if the doctor had put something like "Jews, go seek treatment elsewhere" or "Blacks, go seek treatment elsewhere". Would that have been illegal? If so, is it illegal to discriminate based on race but legal to discriminate based on political affiliation? Any law students in here?
civil rights laws. although his basic argument is that he'll put up a sign that says "jews seek treatment elsewhere" but won't ask them or refuse treatment so it's ok.
 

richse

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What the hell kind of sissy-ass sign would that be?

He had his opinion and served it in black and white [none of this 'shades of gray' hypothetical/alternative options crap your speaking of]. High five for his courage in the face of what others think.
So you think it's better for him to hide behind a sign and imply that he won't treat patients who voted for Obama even though in practice he will actually treat them. Yeah, that sounds so much less sissy.

The point of this debate is whether he might cause harm to a patient by posting this sign. I agree that it is within his rights (1st amendment) to post it, but I still think he is causing harm.
 

armybound

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Whether you agree with what the doctor did or not, it is pretty easy to see that the implication was that he did not wish to treat Obama supporters. Probably the reason he did not outright say "I will not treat Obama supporters" or something like that is because he wanted to avoid any potential lawsuits etc. (I will admit that I am ignorant of the law here and thus am just guessing that it could be deemed illegal to discriminate against patients due to their political beliefs)

I'm just wondering.. what if the doctor had put something like "Jews, go seek treatment elsewhere" or "Blacks, go seek treatment elsewhere". Would that have been illegal? If so, is it illegal to discriminate based on race but legal to discriminate based on political affiliation? Any law students in here?
It says in the article that it's not illegal
Allen said doctors cannot refuse patients on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability, but political preference is not one of the legally protected categories specified in civil-rights law
 

RogueUnicorn

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So you think it's better for him to hide behind a sign and imply that he won't treat patients who voted for Obama even though in practice he will actually treat them. Yeah, that sounds so much less sissy.

The point of this debate is whether he might cause harm to a patient by posting this sign. I agree that it is within his rights (1st amendment) to post it, but I still think he is causing harm.
i think it's hard to argue it caused harm. i think it's very easy to argue this is highly unethical.
 

richse

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I'm not in the military, but you can see how assumption often leads you to the wrong conclusion. A more accurate method of ascertaining that information would have been to ask me directly. You can see the correlate between this situation and the patient's. My screen name may have made you think one thing, but the only way to know for sure was to ask.
But again, I'm not questioning whether or not this sign is wrong. I think my initial post in this thread was one of shock. I don't agree with the sign at all, or the sentiment behind it, but I don't think it introduced any NEW risk to the patient.

To your second point, it sounds to me like you feel that the patient was in some kind of immediate danger that needed to be treated immediately or the patient's condition would worsen. We don't know. Only that physician knows, or whoever the patient ultimately ended up seeing. The patient could have wanted Viagra for all we know, or it could have been a followup for some other procedure. Maybe the patient was about to find out that they had some incredibly invasive prostatic cancer and getting seen a couple hours earlier could have made a significant different -- and maybe not. You can't say for sure. Regardless, the patient had whatever the patient had and unless they were actively stroking out, I doubt a couple of hours will have made a significant difference in their health.
That's exactly the point, we can't know if any specific patient would be harmed by a delay, but we do know there are situations where patients would be harmed by delays to treatment. Given that, it would only be a matter of time until the sign did cause actual harm to a patient!
 

armybound

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That's exactly the point, we can't know if any specific patient would be harmed by a delay, but we do know there are situations where patients would be harmed by delays to treatment. Given that, it would only be a matter of time until the sign did cause actual harm to a patient!
I guess I just take issue with your definition of "caused" harm. If I punch you in the face, I'm causing you harm.
If I was supposed to be with you at the club on the night you got punched in the face by some other guy and I could have prevented you from getting punched but I stayed at home instead, did I cause you harm?
 

richse

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I guess I just take issue with your definition of "caused" harm. If I punch you in the face, I'm causing you harm.
If I was supposed to be with you at the club on the night you got punched in the face by some other guy and I could have prevented you from getting punched but I stayed at home instead, did I cause you harm?
I guess, in my opinion, it comes down to how likely it is that someone will be harmed. I think it is much more likely that a patient will come to harm after being driven off by the sign. In your example, I wouldn't expect you to know that I was going to be punched in the face. On the other hand, let's say we're cops and you were supposed to be backing me up, but decided to show up late because I did something you didn't like. If I got hurt then I would say you had a part in causing the harm because you had some reason to assume I might need immediate help. That's where I'm coming from, this doc must know that some of his patients might need immediate help.
 

armybound

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I don't know, I might argue that a private practice urologist wouldn't normally see emergent cases. For all we know he could run a boutique where all he does is vasectomies, or he gets 100% of his cases by referral and would expect all emergent cases to be screened before being sent to him.

There are too many variables to say that this doctor is directly causing harm. I'll agree that a patient may see a negative effect from the few hours' wait this may cause, but I think the likelihood of anyone seeing negative outcomes from this are miniscule as arbitrarily choosing what day you'll have your appointment on.
 
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It's kind of hilarious since this guy is only hurting himself. He could be making much more money without the sign and could prepare his bank account if there are huge pay cuts in four years.

So silly.

that's exactly what i was thinking:laugh: