Medical Ethics Questioned in Florida

I figured I would keep it somewhat light here on a Sunday night when I imagine that many folks don’t have to go into work on Monday morning. Oh how I wish I was one of you. But I will be schlepping into work, wishing I was home doing some blog writing. I saw this article from Fox News, and read a couple of others on the subject at the NY Times and Huffington Post. It appears that Alan Grayson, Democrat bigmouth dujour, has decided that he is going to file a complaint against this doctor because the doctor put a sign up on the front door to his practice that said if you voted for Obama, then you can go and find another doctor. What doesn’t seem to matter to Grayson is the fact that the doctor apparently didn’t do anything that qualifies as complaint worthy according to the folks who make that decision in the state of Florida. But the question isn’t whether Grayson has the right to file a complaint, although we are going to touch on that. The question instead is whether this doctor is within his rights to post such a note. And further, even if he is within his rights, is this an unethical stance for a doctor to take?

The scenario is one that at first may make you think, “eh, no big deal.” But it could be a big deal, as I will discuss below. First, let’s take a look at the article that I read from that got me thinking about this, or at least part of the article, from Fox News:

Dr. Jack Cassell

An outspoken U.S. congressman is planning to file a complaint against the central Florida urologist who posted a sign on his office door warning supporters of President Obama to find a different doctor.

A spokesman for Rep. Alan Grayson, who angered Republicans last year when he said they wanted sick Americans to “die quickly,” told FoxNews.com that Florida Democrat is helping a constituent who was affected by the sign to file a complaint next week with the proper authorities. Grayson will also file additional complaints with all relevant boards or agencies, Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski said.

The notice on Dr. Jack Cassell’s Mount Dora practice says, “If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”

Cassell told Fox News on Friday he wasn’t refusing care to patients but wanted to educate them on how the new health care law would affect them.

“I came across the timeline for implementation of Obamacare and I got a little discouraged when I got to next year when I found that most of the ancillary services and nursing homes and diagnostic imaging, all these things start to fade away,” he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. “And I felt that my patients really need to know about this. And the more I thought about it, the angrier I got until I finally felt like I’m going to put a little splash page on my front door and just get people thinking a little bit.”

Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/03/congressman-plans-file-complaint-anti-obama-doctor/

The Democrat Plan: Completely Lie About Your Opponents

I won’t get into the debate over Grayson. He is a blowhard, and I think that he is actually a good thing for the GOP. He tends to run his mouth and turn a good number of people away from the Democratic party because of his nonsense. I will simply say that I think that his, and others on the left’s, characterization that the Republican plan is for people to die quickly is a grand lie and it should have been attacked more robustly. It is on par with the death panel claims. At least the DP claims had some basis in reality, albeit loosely. In this case, it appears that he is again deciding to stick his head into an area that he didn’t really need to, and I think that his intent is really nothing more than a little more outrageous publicity. But the complaint that he is filing is important, because the outcome of it will resonate throughout the medical community and could have ramifications on the implementation of the health insurance reform bill.

Let’s start with the actions of the Doctor and whether they are ethical. It should first be noted that he hasn’t actually asked patients who they voted for or turned anyone away from being treated in his private practice. But let’s suppose he had. It would seem that this would be a violation of the oath a doctor takes, but that oath is something that doctors all take with a grain of salt. They provide a service for a fee. In my opinion, the vast majority of doctors attempt to provide that service for as low a fee as can possibly be done. They attempt to cover rising costs, but would probably prefer to charge less if they could. After all, they want to help people.

I understand this doctor’s feelings. He sees the health care bill as a very big problem for him in the future. He sees rising costs because of it. He sees certain treatments or diagnostic tools being taken away. In short, he sees the federal government getting in the way of his being able to do his job to the best of his ability. And he see this based on facts. He is well read on the issues. He has lots of documentation in his waiting room for patients to read. So he isn’t taking his opinions from some insurance lobbyist or corporate shill, as Democratic politicians would have us believe all those opposed to the bill are. So he is using his right of free speech to voice his opposition to what he believes will hurt his livelihood.

But let’s suppose that he was turning away Obama supporters at his private practice. Is he within his rights to do so? After all, political affiliations are not a protected class in America. I am sure that if we were to see several doctors go this route, the Democrats would quickly move to craft legislation making political affiliations a protected class (as an added bonus, this might also mean that crime based on political affiliation could fall under the completely fraudulent “hate crimes” laws). It would seem that legally, at least for now, he would be within his legal rights to turn away anyone that he wants to turn away.

But is the decision to turn away someone based on political affiliation a violation of ethics? I will leave that question out there for the discussion. Because it is one worth pondering.

And why will the outcome of this be so important? Because in an era where we have a very unpopular bill, and one that has the potential to drastically impact doctors in a negative way, this will be the first test of how those doctors who refuse to support those that support policies that hurt the doctors will be dealt with. Much like the Democrats are going to have to rule with an iron fist on the health insurance providers, they are going to have to keep the doctors in line in order to keep any sense of order around the implementation of these reforms.

Doctors are the ones who will ultimately have the power over the state of America’s health care system. There are tons of beliefs that the pundits on the right have about how doctors are going to react to the health reforms. Claims that many doctors will simply close up shop and find a new line of work, while prospective college students will turn away from a health care career from the beginning upon seeing the limitations the federal government will put into place. There are claims from many doctors that they are going to simply stop accepting any further medicare patients, as the paperwork and bureaucracy make treating those patients unprofitable. The list of possible bad results that the right is claiming will result from doctor’s reactions to this reform is long and troublesome.

And that is important, because we have seen this in the other countries where government has taken a leading role in health care. In Canada, many private doctors did take the steps that the right claims they will take. As a result, wait times increased as the number of doctors steadily decreased. And now we see the beginning of a private health care market in Canada to serve the shortcomings of the government offered version. Make no mistake, the politicians may believe that they have the ability to re-shape and reform the health care industry. But they are sadly mistaken. Doctors and health care providers will continue to hold all the power until the day when government takes over health care completely and forces doctors to perform at the end of a proverbial barrel of a gun.

So sit up and pay attention to what is happening with this case. Because in the end it is the first small test of how much control the government is going to attempt to exercise over private health care professionals. There will be bigger tests as the stakes get higher. And we all know that history says that every government that gets tested in this way will react with greater and greater force to achieve what they want to achieve.

How long before doctors will be refused licenses unless they agree to all the parameters that the federal government puts up as a standard? And once that happens, how long before the United States falls to dead last on the list of developed nations in terms of the level of health care provided?

Be smart, monitor where all the good doctors are moving to set up new practices where they can make decisions based on their knowledge instead of letting government make the decisions for them. THAT will be the country I will want to move to.

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Comments

  1. Disgruntled says:

    I would like to start off by saying that I recently found this site and I have enjoyed it much.
    I have spent much of my life not knowing a lot about politics and, quite frankly, not wanting to know much about politics. I’ve always lived under the belief that my one vote will not make a difference, so why worry about it. However, certain events over the last several years have changed my views. I now have a thirst for knowlege and a desire to make any positive changes in my community or country that I can. Knowlege is power.

    I also read this article on Fox and watched a news clip about it. And I did think “well, he hasn’t asked his patients about their political views or turned any patients away so it’s all good.” But you do bring up a good point. Suppose he had? In my professional belief, it would be unethical to turn someone away just because they voted for Obama.

    But, in my current disgruntled emotional state, I would like to reference a recent blog questioning everyones right to vote. I believe that anyone has the right to be ignorant but, if they invoke that right, then maybe they shouldn’t be given the right to vote. And then maybe those that choose to not be ignorant, to be educated and well-informed, just maybe they have that right to refuse care or services to the ones that choose to remain ignorant.

    I don’t know, just something else to ponder this Sunday night/Monday morning.

    • Disgruntled

      I wanted to take a minute to welcome you to SUFA. I hope you remain invigorated over learning more and becoming more active. But most of all, stay engaged in the commentary here. The more the merrier.

      Best to you and yours
      JAC

    • USWeapon says:

      Allow me to second JAC’s welcome and I hope to see you engaged in the discussions here as well. The more perspectives we get, the better we understand.

      USW

    • Mathius says:

      Welcome.

      Now come to the dark side… I promise we won’t bite…

      • USWeapon says:

        No, you’ll just take all his money and give it to someone else! LOL

        😉

        • Mathius says:

          I assure you I would never do such a thing. You malign me, sir.

          (though it is a possibility that I will hire IRS agents to take all his money and give it to someone else)

      • Disgruntled says:

        Thanks for the welcome. No offence Mathius, I must respectfuly decline your offer.

  2. Cyndi P says:

    I don’t blame the good doctor for expressing his feelings. I don’t think doctors should be forced to do anything. They are not slaves. If he doesn’t want to treat someone because of their politcal affiliation, he’s within his rights to do so. Let O’s follwers go to another doctor. Since O is so popular and his health care take over such a gift to Americans, there should be plenty of doctors willing to treat O-followers. Personally, I would not want to be treated by a doctor who supports O. I can’t help but question their judgement. I want a competent doctor who believes he can treat my condition. If he can’t stand me, then that could affect the doctor/patient relationship. I’ll find a different doctor.

  3. Good Morning!

    The doctor, IMHO, is within his rights to do as he is doing. If he chose to refuse treatment, I feel he has the right to do that as well, as does any private business. I too, saw his interview on the news yesterday, and he makes a good point that people need educated. The devil is in the details, and as they emerge, this may become a domino effect of doctors refusing treatment in non-life threatening instances.

    Peace!

    G!

  4. This doctor is doing nothing wrong, he is simply making a statement. On the news this morning he gave an interview and pointed out that he just wanted people to be aware of what is happening. He mentioned this timeline http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=36281 for Obamacare. I must say, some of these things are a little disturbing. For instance;

    Requires plans to cover, at no charge, most preventive care (plan years beginning 9/23/10) What do you think will happen to premiums?

    Health plans required to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on medical claims. Not a government takeover, eh?

    New tax on all private health insurance policies to pay for comp. eff. research (plan years beginning fiscal 2012) So, no new taxes except on the rich, eh?

    Individuals without government]approved coverage are subject to a tax of the greater of $695 or 2.5% of income Key words, here, government approved.

    All of this will inevitably result in much higher premiums, making health insurance unaffordable for everyone except the very rich. If anyone wants a single payer system, but realizes that such a system would be rejected by most Americans right now, this process is the way to achieve it. Once you can’t buy health insurance, people will be calling for the government to provide it. That is, if we haven’t destroyed ourselves with debt by then…

    • Mathius says:

      Requires plans to cover, at no charge, most preventive care (plan years beginning 9/23/10) What do you think will happen to premiums? Honestly, I might expect them to go down. Why? A stitch in time saves nine, right? If preventative care is more affordable, perhaps the incidence of more advanced (read: expensive) concerns will be scarcer.

      That is, if I can get free cancer screenings, I will be more likely to get myself checked. If I catch melanoma while it’s still just a weird looking mole, I will be much (MUCH!) cheaper to treat.

      But that’s just a thought…

      • You are right in your assessment except for the fact that this will reduce overall costs. It certainly would be cheaper for one person if they caught something early and so had cheaper care.

        What I envision, though, is many people heading to the doctor, since their preventive care is covered, for sniffles or rashes that are benign. Hence insurance companies will pay out more.

        Now, what are the chances that I will realize that I have brain cancer before the symptoms manifest themselves? That is, why would I ask for a CAT scan when I don’t have chronic headaches? What can be done once the symptoms are present that would have been cheaper before?

        Do you see what I mean? Yes, some things will be cheaper, but it is misleading at best to claim that this will solve all such problems and that the ones it does solve will save enough money to outweigh the flood of people heading to the doctors for free.

        • I don’t know that it will. But I do suggest that it is a distinct possibility.

          Also, from my perspective, dollars and cents aren’t the only things that matter. More preventative care, even if it were more expensive, would certainly lead to higher rates of survival and easier treatments once diagnosed*. So, we liberals would argue that you are ignoring the human benefit in favor of the economics.

          *Your example of untreatable brain cancer is a good counter-example. There are however, plenty of treatable, curable, and preventable diseases which would benefit from this. Can you agree to this point, if nothing else?

          • Oh certainly. One thing that bothers me is the claims that this bill will reduce the deficit or some other nonsense. If you think the benefits are worth the cost, you are certainly welcome to say so and I fault you not, but if you claim that these practices will lower costs I will call you on it.

            • Mathius says:

              I think it is possible that it will lower costs by reducing the need for the more expensive procedures through preventative care. This is much the same way as getting your oil changed will prevent you from having to get your transmission replaced. If we net and socialize the cost, you can see the potential for massive benefits here – not that they will necessarily materialize.

              I am not sold, but I will maintain it as a possibility.

              Nonetheless, I like it from the perspective of reducing suffering, even if it’s a financial loser. The number of lives that are destroyed by preventable diseases is staggering.

              • Mathius,

                Are you willing to alter your lifestyle to cut out all of the bad food and dangerous stuf you do (if you do)? After-all, eating healthy, exercising regularly (but nothing too dangerous) are all part of preventive care.

                Yes we change our oil so that we don’t have ot get the tranmission replaced, but when we don’t and the transmission locks up, and put us into an uncontrolable skid and the we plow into someones house, is the insurance company still required to pay up? or can they deny you coverage because you were not taking the proper precautions?

                Be very wary of mandated preventive care, or you just may not be able to order the meat lovers pizza down the road.

              • Mathius says:

                I am wary of that idea. Very wary. But I will not be put off by slippery slope arguments. It is why I am ok with providing it and subsidizing it, but not ok with making you do it.

                Hands off my meat lovers pizza.

              • http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/358/7/661

                Preventive care has little impact on overall costs. We all know that quitting cigarettes, booze, drugs, salt and fats and getting more exercise will do more for overall health than anything else. Do we need a trillion dollar program to tell us that?

      • Requires plans to cover, at no charge, most preventive care (plan years beginning 9/23/10) What do you think will happen to premiums? Honestly, I might expect them to go down. Why? A stitch in time saves nine, right? If preventative care is more affordable, perhaps the incidence of more advanced (read: expensive) concerns will be scarcer.

        That is, if I can get free cancer screenings, I will be more likely to get myself checked. If I catch melanoma while it’s still just a weird looking mole, I will be much (MUCH!) cheaper to treat.

        But that’s just a thought…Requires plans to cover, at no charge, most preventive care (plan years beginning 9/23/10) What do you think will happen to premiums? Honestly, I might expect them to go down. Why? A stitch in time saves nine, right? If preventative care is more affordable, perhaps the incidence of more advanced (read: expensive) concerns will be scarcer.

        That is, if I can get free cancer screenings, I will be more likely to get myself checked. If I catch melanoma while it’s still just a weird looking mole, I will be much (MUCH!) cheaper to treat.

        But that’s just a thought…

        Completely backwards – costs will explode through the roof.

        You guys really don’t get Human Action.

        If there is no cost, the number of tests done -frivolously- will explode.

        These tests are expensive – in material, time, and manpower – there is a cost to them whether you see or not.

        The cost of testing will overwhelm the entire system.

        The government will, eventually, start charging for them (and then your fallacious “benefit” will have totally disappeared – but its past red-ink will remain).

        • Mathius,

          Secondly, there is no back end savings of healthy living

          This is a fallacy.

          You will die. When you are going to die, it will cost you a lot of money.

          Whether you die early or die latter, it will cost you a lot of money.

          Claiming that living “healthy” will reduce this cost is ridiculous.

          • Black Flag is right on with this. Old and reasonably healthy people cost a lot more than young people who just drop dead with an MI. We will become a burden on the system if we are lucky to survive to retirement. (By then, social security eligibility will probably be about 112 years of age…)

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          Bravo Flag,

          Finally something we are in total agreement on.

          My perspectives tend to be based on some experience I have had. Having been a government worker for 21 years I have seen the fraud and waste and the costs of “free” things. We had many tenants is subsidized apartments that were medicaid qualified and brother, the waste was unbelievable. If it was “free” they got it, often in duplicate or triplicate. It was a wonderful opportunity, I think, for the Russian mob in Brooklyn. I can only imagine how much fun we are going to have in the coming years.

          Re: dying. I love the quote “Ain’t none of us getting out of this alive”. It is merely a matter of postponing the inevitable. If we live to a ripe old age, we will no doubt spend a small (or maybe large) fortune staying alive for “just a little bit longer”. So, Mathius, you just backload the problem.

    • Mathius says:

      Health plans required to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on medical claims. Not a government takeover, eh? How is this a bad thing? I reject the notion that just because something is an instance of the government intruding into private business that it’s necessarily a bad thing by virtue of that fact alone. Tell me what is wrong with making providers of health care insurance use the money they collect on paying for health care?

      • The issue in this statement was about this truly being a “government takeover” because the government is dictating how much money the company can make.

        “Tell me what is wrong with making providers of health care insurance use the money they collect on paying for health care?” This is not an issue of making them use their money for health care, this is about limiting their profits. If I give out several policies to healthy young people, none of whom need a payout in a certain year, then how am I supposed to pay out 80% of their premiums on health care?

        Now, if the question were, the company has X dollars from premiums and they are on the hook for Y dollars of health care costs, must their profits be limited to X-Y dollars, I would say yes. They must pay for what they have issued, but that is not what I understand this as saying. I could be wrong, though…

      • Might be me but I take that as 80% on paperwork. I think you’re thinking 80% on treatment.
        You are probably right but since I don’t trust the govt I stand by my statement.

      • Mathius

        Its called tyranny.

        That is whats wrong with it.

        • Mathius says:

          Nope.

          Here is the problem with your logic: you define intervention as bad and then use that to prove that intervention is bad.

          To wit: I say it is evil to wear the color pink. You are wearing pink. Ergo, you are evil.

          It doesn’t work like that. I reject your premise.

          You have to show me what is tyrannical about it. Just just stating that it is is not sufficient.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Mathius,

            To reject that something is tyrranical even though it perfectly fits the dictionary definition of tyrrany just shows that your opinion lacks a certain something which it needs in order to make it credible.

            • Mathius says:

              Oh, my bad. But just for fun, let’s see what Webster has to say about this..

              tyr·an·ny
                 /ˈtɪrəni/ [tir-uh-nee]
              –noun,plural-nies.

              1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.

              This is not arbitrary. It was considered by many to be a vital and pressing national concern and was addressed as such. Though you disagree with the underlying though process does not make it arbitrary, but at best, incorrect – at worst, malign.

              This was heavily restrained by Republican/Tea Party (does that merit a capital T and P?) opposition. Recall that we would have like single payer. This is a far cry from that.

              Despotic is a synonym for tyrannical. As such, this adds nothing.

              Abuse of authority is a matter of opinion. I do not accept this as abusive, but rather appropriate action in the benefit of the common good.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                As we have covered before, the “common good” is a mythological being.

                As such, I see no benefit in something that benefits something imaginary.

              • Mathius

                Let’s use my Webster:

                Oppressive and unjust government;

                Very cruel and unjust use of power or authority;

                Harshness; rigor; severity.

                I find a government who was not granted authority to dictate profit margins of business that then assumes such power as “oppressive”.

                I find a govt that applies its power against one group of citizens to the detriment of others as “unjust”.

                Now lets look at the historical use of the word when the constitution was written. “Tyranny against liberty” was an often used phrase. Meaning of course that a govt’s action that is antithetical to individual freedom and liberty is Tyranny.

                Context young Mathius. In America it is tyranny. You should visit the basement to see what your alter ego thinks.

                P.S. How is it that a Congress and Executive who act on their own in opposition to a majority of Americans is anything but “arbitrary” “abuse of power”.

                See, even your definition fits.

              • Based on the constitutionality of this bill, and thee fact that our government’s authority is derived from and limited by that document, I would say that it is an abuse of authority at a minimum.

              • Mathius,

                It is arbitrary!

                It happens to be something YOU WANT – it is not something I WANT.

                It is subjective – thus arbitrary.

              • Mathius says:

                Subject and arbitrary do not mean the same thing.

                Though you may believe it to be incorrectly, or fault logic, that does not make it arbitrary.

              • Mathius,

                Subjective IS arbitrary!

                That is one of its core components.

                I like black because!

      • Hi Matt…I am in business to make a profit. No one has a right to limit that profit. It matters not if I am, selling health or widgets. If I am a bad company…do not come to me.

        I think that JAC is correct. It is Tyranny.

        • Mathius says:

          It matters a great deal if you are my only option for health care. It make a great deal of difference if you are essentially extorting me on pain of death.

          • That assumes that your misfortune is the problem or responsibility of the doctor. He did not cause your health issues, he is not required to fix them. He provides a service of fixing health issues to the customers of his choice, i.e. those who can pay, those who he is willing to treat, etc. He is not threatening you.

          • An insurance company is never an option for health care, for that you go to a doctor. Don’t confuse the the two. Health CARE is a completely seperate issue from health INSURANCE. To use your earlier example, car CARE is complately separate from car INSURANCE.

            NO ONE in this country is currently denied life saving health care for any reason.

          • No doctor MUST give treatment free of charge, because that doctor would inevitably lose the practice. Your outcome with or without treatment does not change that fact. If you can’t afford it, you don’t get it, simple as that. If you need something and can’t afford it, you go ask if someone else will pay for it. DEMANDING it is not your right.

          • Curiosity, Matt….Let’s assume that I am the ONLY company that is available….because of that, and I have an essential service, your premise is that I am not entitled to my own decisions…(who to cover, who not to cover. etc) simply because I am the only one?

            • Mathius says:

              Simply put? Yes.

              Society’s needs outweigh your rights.

              (queue the arrival of an angry pirate..)

              • Mathius,

                Then tyranny is your wish.

                ..and you’ll get it, good and hard.

              • Ragnar Danneskjöld at your service. You rang?

              • USWeapon says:

                My second favorite pirate ever! But I like his boss better. I really wish they would make it a good movie!

                For the record my favorite pirate ever is the dread Pirate Roberts.

                Sorry BF, but you were up against some stiff competition!

                USW

              • Mathius says:

                HEY! What about the pirate I’ve got locked in my basement? Where does he rank?

                4th, I guess, behind BF?

      • Do you have a clue as to how insurance companies work?

        What do they do with the premiums?

        What is the current rate of reimbursement? Should be easy to find since all ins co are regulated.

  5. Buck The Wala says:

    I’m not so certain that the doctor had crossed the line yet. There is no evidence that the doctor asked any patients about their political views nor refused to treat a patient because of their political views. There is of course the possibility that one or more patients read the sign and left the doctor’s office untreated as a result, but I haven’t yet heard of this happening either.

    However, had the Doctor actually asked his patients their political views and/or turned away patients who had voted for Obama — this is clearly unethical behavior. The doctor’s job is to treat patients. He cannot (by law) turn patients away due to their race or religion. I don’t think anyone here would argue that it would be ethical to turn away a patient due to their race. The fact that ‘political affiliation’ is not a protected class under the law is irrelevant. Not all illegal behavior is unethical and not all legal behavior is ethical.

    • Buck

      If you haven’t already, check out my posts for yesterday. I left you a couple of Natelson’s recent commentaries.

      We must remember that there are levels of ethics. Those at the base are tied to more general human morality and behavior. What is being challenged here is the ethics of the medical profession, as they see fit to describe it, ie professional ethics.

      Hope your weekend was good.
      JAC

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Will try to take a look at those posts later in the day – going to be a busy one though.

        To expand on your point here though — how would you classify the doctor’s actions in terms of both general ethics and professional ethics. I would argue that he fails both.

        Whether or not a complaint is justified though is of course another matter entirely, one which I will pass judgment on right now.

        It was a wonderful weekend – absolutely gorgeous out! Hope you had a nice one as well.

        • Buck

          Does not fail general ethics. He as a right to deny service to anyone he chooses for any reason he chooses. He is not imposing on anyone by denying them a service that is his to provide.

          Such an action may not be truly rational in the long run as his customer base shrinks by 50%.

          Since doctors are able to turn away patients who rely on work comp or medicaid then I am guessing this would also be allowed under their ethical standards.

          I have never read their code of ethics so not absolutely sure.

        • Just as a doctor can refuse Medicaid and Medicare, he can refuse anyone.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            There is a difference in refusing to accept a particular insurance plan and refusing to treat a patient.

            • Buck

              It is HIS practice. He can deny anyone he wishes. Or at least he should be able to.

              Now if he is working for someone else, say the ER, then he must adhere to his employers standards. Thus providing ER care for the hospital ER.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I am not arguing that he does not have the RIGHT to deny service. I am arguing that doing so is UNETHICAL.

                Two completely different issues.

              • Buck

                If one has the right to deny service for any reason then it can not be unethical to deny service for any reason.

                In this case the right and ethic are identical.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Legality does not define Ethics.

                Something can be illegal but ethical. Something can be legal but unethical.

                Just because a doctor has the legal right to deny services to someone based on their political views does not automatically mean that doing so would be ethical as well.

              • Buck

                I didn’t say anything about legality.

                In fact it is illegal to exercise my right to refuse service to anyone I choose for any reason I choose.

                See……..Tyranny once again.

                The right you expressed is identical to the ethic you disclaimed. Because they are identical in their construction they are the same. Once cannot be yes and the other no.

                A simple logic exercise.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Rights and Ethics are two very different things, at least in my usage.

                How is it that you are defining the two as the same thing?

                A doctor does have the right to refuse to treat someone based on their political views. Doing so would not be illegal either, as there is no law recognizing ‘political affiliation’ as a protected class. However, just because doing so is their right (and doing so would be legal) does not mean that it is ethical to act in this manner.

              • that raises a serious question. When did exercising one’s rights become unethical?

              • Jon

                Remember the voting discussion?

                If a right is general in nature, then the ethic provides the side boards for exercising the right.

                We say we have the right to free speech but not to slander someone. We have the right to use violence but only in self defense.

                The base ethic, in my opinion, is that of not using force against innocent people.

                This base ethic becomes part of each right.

                I am starting to get the two concepts mixed up in my mind. Time to go back and do some more study on this.

                Perhaps I am trying to split ethics from rights where they are a single entity.

                But you get the idea I am sure.

            • He hasn’t refused to see anyone, he will treat you to the best of his ability once you walk through his door.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                The question I was answering was would it be unethical to actually refuse treatment based on political views.

    • Interesting that you brought race up – where in the sign did the doctor mention race?

      • Not the point. The point is that discrimination based on race or gender or political belief or religious belief or sexual preference or class is all the same thing in a way. Granted, race, gender, sexual preference, and even class are things that are not the fault or decision of the individual, religious belief, political belief, etc. are decisions of the individual. That said, it could be an unethical thing to judge people based on their beliefs, just as it is unethical to judge based on race. On the other hand, it should not be illegal to do so.

  6. Stuck in Ohio says:

    I read the article also and I seem to remember that he made it a point that he has not refused treatments to anyone and would not do so. He wanted to make a statement with the sign.

    Is it unethical or illegal? It is not uncommon to see a sign posted that “this office does not accept worker’s compensation cases”. My own doctor has this posted at the door to his office. He is choosing not to participate in a state run insurance program (and about as well run as medicare/medicaid).I’d be willing to bet that this is not uncommon all over the country and you hear nothing in the press.

    And how about Wallgreen refusing any more Medicaid patients in Washington?

    As G-man stated, this may be the beginnings of a dominoe effect. It bears watching.

  7. Its been awhile since I posted here. Been very busy at work. It has become all to clear to me that the folks who like the healthcare passage tend to lean on the “society has to” mantra. It appears that when pushed to the meat of the matter the liberals throw out some group of inviduals to ease the discussion in their mind. Society is the people on this site. Why is it so hard for the liberals to speak at an individual level? Because it is easier for them to make the argument. I would like to see them say USW, BF, and JAC has to pay for this. Please go to their house and take their money. I you cannot justify the physical act of going to a persons house and forcing them to get out the checkbook and write that check to you or can you. It is always easier to attack the faceless group than to attack the invidividual. This reminds me of the old tax collectors working for the King showing up and taking what they wanted from the towns folk. I dont like it when I see it and I certainly dont like it now.

    I could not justify sending an armed militia to USW’s house and forcibly taking his money. This bill is no different than that. Only the armed guards dont show up until you dont pay.

    How is this ok in the liberal world? Please make sure the comments do not degenerate to a nameless faceless crowd. Please tell USW why its ok to come into his house and make him give you money.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      USW,

      Sorry. I hate to say it. I just don’t like being the bearer of bad news. But, someone’s gotta say it, so why not let it be me.

      You are on the hook for taxes. I’m not trying to single you out here. Tomorrow I’ll be heading to JAC’s door to give him the bad news as well. Then I’ll be heading to G-Man, then D13, then even BF (though I’m really not looking forward to that one!). The fact of the matter is, everyone is on the hook for taxes. We all must pay. Earlier Mathius paid me a visit and had this little chat as well. Its not a liberal/conservative thing, or a progressive/anarchistic thing. It is societal – I know some hate that term, but the fact of the matter is we live in a society and as such we have opted to provide certain benefits to people. To pay for those benefits we must pay taxes.

      Now I’m not going to put a gun to your head and demand you give me your money. I’ll leave that dirty job to the good folks over at the IRS. Please don’t see this as an attack on you. I know you may well believe this constitutes theft, but we’ve been down that road before and I just don’t have the time nor inclination to revisit that discussion now.

      I know you don’t like it. I myself don’t like it, even though I support the underlying programs and feel we should be providing such benefits to people. But that’s neither here nor there.

      Thanks for your time USW. I hope you understand this is nothing personal.

      Best,
      Buck

      • USWeapon says:

        But Buck, I noticed that you are only stopping by about half the houses. Why is it that I have to write you yet another check while so many have never so much as gotten a phone call from you? Is this my reward for working so hard to better myself and exercise fiscal discipline?

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I just don’t have time to stop by every single house in the US. Others are stopping by as well. Don’t worry!

          • Oh, so that way you only stop by the houses that are agenda friendly!

          • USWeapon says:

            But how could you be stopping by every house? I thought Obama promised that taxes would not be increased for 95% of all Americans!

            • Buck The Wala says:
              • USWeapon says:

                Hogwash… The article does exactly what politicians do. It paints part of the picture in order to prove a truth, completely ignoring the rest of the issues.

                Let’s accept the tax cut in the stimulus, which is a very big stretch given the increase in taxes in so many other areas of the stimulus. That still ignores the SCHIP/tobacco tax increase, the proposed cap and trade increase, the health care costs increases, and the plethora of others that the administration has silently moved forward with.

                Cutting $400 off my taxes in one area while raising them $1000 in another does not equal a tax cut in my eyes. It is a tax increase. Yet politifact would have rated my claim of cutting taxes as true. You’ll have to do better than this. Besides, IF YOUR STATEMENT WAS TRUE, then what you meant to say is that you are stopping by to pick up yet another check from me while not bothering 19 of my neighbors.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Sorry USW, didn’t mean to imply that this link was 100% accurate in the least in its claim.

                Just thought it was an interesting look at the numbers in answer to your tongue-in-cheek statement.

                Lots of tongues in cheek today for some reason…

      • Good luck finding me Buck, as I currently don’t have a house. As for us being “on the hook”, it is, in fact, a statist/anarchist thing. I don’t mind the idea of paying some taxes, but I only want to pay for the benefits that I agree with, and I only ask others to pay for the services they agree with. Notice I say agree with, not just services I receive. I recognize that emergency services are a good thing even tho I have never needed a fire truck or ambulance. I don’t mind paying those taxes.

        What I do mind are the costs of the things that are not agreed on at all. The earmarks and pork done in backdoor deals. The innefficent manner in which government is run costing massive amounts of money for tasks that a private firm could do for less than half the amount.

        And you do admit that, while you personally find it too distasteful, it does require the use of force to get those taxes paid. You admit that a gun must be held to the head of people. You also make a false claim. You claim that all of us are on the hook for taxes. That is not true. The very poor and unsuccessful and the lazy and the hurting don’t owe taxes. They RECEIVE money. So it sounds all well and good to say “all of us owe it” and “its only fair” and “you are being selfish and unrealistic if you don’t join the rest of society and own up to your responsibilities”, but it is a lie. There are many who don’t get forced to pay taxes, and in many cases, it is the very ones that are irresponsible and don’t own up to even the responsibility to care for one’s own self that are the ones getting a free ride.

        So no, its not fair to pay taxes. No, its not my responsibility to society to pay for corruption. No, its not my responsibility to cover the costs of all these “society programs” and other crap we supposedly “agreed to”. It’s not my responsibility or duty to society when I am fighting that very society in every legal way I can. I don’t owe it to you or anyone else. It is theft, and just because you don’t have the stomach to be the enforcer does not make it ok that you think someone else should do it. You think it is ok to steal from me? Have the guts to do it yourself, if you dare.

        I pay taxes, I recognize the need for some of them, but there are better ways.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Its not that I don’t have the stomach for enforcement. Enforcement just doesn’t pay as well.

          You argue its ‘not fair to pay taxes’ yet say that you do recognize the need for taxes. So would it be fair to say that you agree that while you may not find it fair, it is a necessary part of society? If so, then its just a matter of drawing the line.

          • So you recognize that making decisions for personal profit is acceptable? Even tho society needs enforcement, you choose not to do it because you are “greedy” and you want to do something that is more personally profitable.

            Yes, I do recognize that taxes are necessary to pay for things. I also made it clear that they should be voluntary. If you do not pay them, you do not receive those services. If you will not pay the universally “beneficial” things, such as the court system and police, a necessary part of our society, then you lose your right to citizenship. You want to pay no taxes? Fine, you are not a part of this society, you get no stuff, and you have to pay a premium for state provided services, like roads, etc. I would love to have that specific discussion on how to draw the line on taxes and still remain consistent in my thinking.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Here’s the problem with that argument — given how interconnected our society has become it is impossible to make it purely voluntary and even more difficult to make it so that you receive no benefit if you do not pay.

              Take for example national defense. I don’t want to pay for national defense. I feel it is useless and know that others will pay for this should something actually happen. How do you propose I do not receive any benefit from our army?

              By the way, I’ve never argued against making a profit.

              • Which is why I propose a change in citizenship status if you do not pay for universal benefit things such as national defense (note that “national defense” does not cover all military actions or expense). I grant that our society is interconnected and that persons, even with a revoke of citizenship, may inadvertently gain benefit from national defense or police enforcement. However, I would submit that the loss of citizenship would be a reasonable deterrent.

                You did not argue against a profit, but you have made arguments along the line of supporting restrictions on profit for doctors as a benefit to “society”, or at least, that is how I have taken some of your statements, I do not wish to state such an accusation inaccurately, might have been more my emotional reaction to your statements in support of national health care.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                A change in citizenship for choosing not to pay taxes towards national security?? Two things:

                1) To many that would be akin to making the payment mandatory

                2) Simply changing citizenship would not force me to leave the country (or would it under your proposal? and if so, where would I go? – again, effectively making it mandatory)

              • Being here, in this country, you fall under the protection of our military. It doesn’t matter if you are a citizen or not. Providing for the common defense is one of those things that the Congress is actually mandated to do by the Constitution. Are you going to try to tell me that there aren’t ANY services in your town that you don’t agree with, and yet you still pay for?

                As for where to go, go to New Zealand, they seem to think that a military is pretty much worthless, because they sure aren’t paying for one.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                That’s not my argument at all. There are clearly services that I don’t agree with. Of course I still pay for them through taxes.

                My argument is that it is impossible to make taxes fully voluntary.

              • I kinda see the loss of citizenship as another form of force, force through imtimidation-Could you explain why you don’t think it is?

              • Don’t want to receive any benefit form our military? MOVE.

              • no, that violates ownership of property. Just because I own something in your military’s jurisdiction does not mean I should have to move. Technically, we protect other countries as well, should htey have to move or pay taxes?

        • Another reason to support The FAIR TAX. You have some control over your tax expenditure.

          Thing that drives me crazy is that if The Fair Tax is implemented our economy will explode, revenues will be so that we might really be able to afford true universal health care and all the other liberal programs ! But I personally think that most machine democrats really don’t care about the details but about perception and power.

    • Buck

      I have never met this person or singular identity called society. So why is it you are willing to give this non identity rights and powers you are not willing to give to individuals?

      The left doesn’t want the “fictional person” called Corporation to have access to politics but give the “fictional person” called Society the power to rob me for its advantage.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Come now JAC, society isn’t a fictional person. It is the collective “Us”. And what rights am I giving to ‘society’ that I am not giving to individuals?

        • The right to take what you feel you need from those who you feel have “enough”. That is something you allow “society” to do, but would not allow an individual to make such a decision.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Precisely. If “the collective us” can steal, then “the individual me” should be allowed to steal as well.

            One other gigantic falsehood is that the “collective us” is an identifiable entity. It most certainly is NOT. “The collective us” by DEFINITION has to be made up of “individual mes”, and by DEFINITION, ONLY the individual mes have identities.

            You cannot benefit the individual mes by claiming that the needs of the unidentifiable “collective us” are superior to the needs of the clearly identifiable “individual mes”.

            For example Buck, who do you feel would do a better job of determining your needs and how to best meet them:

            A: You
            B: The Government

        • Buck

          Which “collective US”? If I move the line a few hundred miles I will get a different collective.

          Society is a classification system of groups of people. It is not an identity with rights nor should it have separate powers or be able to impose obligations upon the individual “real people”.

        • what am I ..(giving)…that I am not giving to individuals

          The right to use violence on non-violent people

      • Patients were ‘routinely neglected’ at hospital – UK NHS http://bit.ly/b3GImF // Lets replicate it !

  8. Ellen Spalding says:

    AS of right now, it does appear that the doctor is just voicing a view he has on Obama and the healthcare bill. He does not ask anyone who they vote for or where they stand politically. So I dont see how he is breaking any laws or is being unethical. This would all be different if he was someone who as treating ER or trauma type cases and was turning people away who were in a life and death type situation. That is unethical completely.
    Ellen

    • Buck The Wala says:

      I completely agree – it would make for a much clearer case if the doctor was actively refusing to treat people in such life and death situations. But take away the life and death part, would it now be ethically to actively refuse to treat a patient based on their political views? Just because something is less unethical does not make it ethical.

  9. I think the sign the doctor posted is just fine. Remember, an entire division of the renowned Mayo clinic has decided to not accept Medicare patients. There is no money in providing healthcare to govt. run/sponsored patients! Surprise!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703436504574640711655886136.html

  10. The only thing that could be pushing it ethically or legally would be if he was demanding to know how someone voted. Obviously he is making a statement, but if he were actively asking for an individual’s voting record that would be a violation of privacy rights, or even an intimidation of voters.

    As far as refusing treatment, I do not think it is necessarily unethical. The Hippocratic Oath is a great thing, but I can see an opposing ethic that helping someone who is contributing to the deaths of millions could justify not helping someone. Especially in non-life threatening care, I don’t think it is an issue, it is a matter of choice, and there is a lot more to ethics than society’s view. The doctor’s own beliefs have to be taken into account.

    That said, I think to be truly ethical, keeping things where they are, i.e. making a statement, but not probing too deeply into individual choices or actually refusing care, is very ethical and justifiable and legal.

    Now, as for the right to file a complaint, I think it is an abuse of the system. Filing a complaint is not the same as complaining or voicing one’s opinion. There is no basis for a business complaint. There is certainly a reason to dislike the sign if you are an Obama supporter. There is a right for the doctor to make a statement, and there is a right for his opposition to make statements of their own. There is not, however, a basis for a legal complaint, and it is an abuse of the complaint system, a misuse of it. It is not illegal to file the complaint, it is unethical. It is not unethical to oppose the doctor or to make a statement against him, just to misuse a system in the process.

    • Jon

      Asking who they voted for is NOT a violation of privacy rights. The question in itself is not coercive. If threats were made to force an answer then that would be a violation of rights, and I might add unethical.

      • True, I should clarify. By “asking”, I meant “requiring an answer before treatment or transaction”. That is unethical in general. In the case of the vote, which is legally protected as a secret thing, it should be illegal as well.

  11. I think it’s sad that politics is creeping into everyday life. What’s next – the auto repair shop, the plumber, the cable and phone companies?

    I’m curious – what’s everyone’s gut reaction to this statement:

    “If you voted for Palin, seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”

    If you’re a Palin supporter, would you want to have an appointment with this doctor?

    Oh yeah, and be careful what you say during your appointment, cause you never know what else the good doctor doesn’t approve of…don’t mention the local school board or county board elections coming up – you might pick the wrong side of an issue…

    If you’re over-weight or smoke, why should the good doctor waste his time on you? You obviously don’t care about your health – why should he?

    • “I think it’s sad that politics is creeping into everyday life” We actually agree, sorta, it is sad, but please change your statement into a question. Why is politics creeping into everyday life?

    • While I’ve already stated that I agree with you, your example with Palin is misleading. It’s not about who voted for whom, but rather who helped lead into the trouble we’re now facing. If you started your example with some sort of description of something Palin would do were she elected, then make this statement, I would consider it.

      It’s not about partisanship, it’s about results.

      • Palin is a perfect example here. She fought against health care reform, using lies like ‘Death Panels’ to inflame the debate. I can choose to not treat people who support that, correct?

        • Did you even read my response?

          Your statement is based on politics, the doctor’s is based on results. Big difference!

          If McCain were elected and he pushed this bill through, then you could say, “If you voted for McCain, seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.” As Palin had nothing to do with the passing of this reform package, her supporters are in no way responsible for the outcome of the bill.

          • JB,
            Yes, I read your response. Did you read the Fox News article?

            Cassell, 56, also provides Republican reading material in the waiting room — probably not a risky move, given that Mount Dora’s 10,000 residents and the surrounding area lean heavily conservative. 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.”

            You really think this guy is about “results”?

            No, it’s nothing but politics.

            His wife, Leslie Campione, is running for Lake County Commission seat, District 4.

            Do you think maybe he’s trying to drum up some support for his wife’s campaign?

            http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/health/040210DoctorObama-Protest

            • So what if it is? If you don’t like it, find another doctor. If you’re concerned your lib friends won’t like it, tell them to find another doctor. Wha’s the problem? I thought liberals LOVED boycotts? Just organize a boycott against any doctor who doesn’t share your politcal dreams. Conservatives are supposed to be a tiny fraction of the population, so use your numbers and drive the guy and others like him out of business. What’s the big deal?

              • Cyndi,
                I don’t really care about this doctor. I was just replying to JB’s claim that he was about “results” and not “politics”.

                I checked out some of your links about Kwajalein Atoll. Wow – quite the beautiful place! Now, if it would just snow 6 months of the year, I might move there!! 😉

              • Cyndi P says:

                Hi Todd,

                We’re 5 degrees above the equator. I doubt this place will ever see snow. I guess that means we’re safe from each other, LOL!

                Seriously, this is a great place to live and work. Its a closed island so you don’t have to worry about uninvited guests just showing up, not mention the out of the way location! I love it here. I’m not looking forward to the day I have to leave.

        • RT @tegwek: @jaketapper Patients were ‘routinely neglected’ at hospital – UK NHS http://bit.ly/b3GImF // Lets replicate it !

          Coming to America – Thanks Obama

    • Todd

      Politics is and always has been part of everyday life. Some of us are just finally waking up to the fact and starting to act on that realization.

      I think it is the hard core partisan politics you are criticizing.

      We need to remember they are not the same thing. Unfortunately the partisan part has caused us to become overly cynical about the more general part.

      The real sad part in my view is that a Congressman and the media has turned this into another National Issue tied to the name calling, hatred, stereo typing, you name it. In the past, this would have remained a local issue between the Doc and his clients. Where it should be.

      I am starting to have delusions about turning off all the TV and radio stations and political sites on the internet for one year. Imagine what it might look like if we all had to talk to each other instead of having surrogates do all the yelling for us.

      By the way, hows your snow holding Todd? Still getting some skiing in?

      Best wishes
      JAC

      • Ok, I think it’s sad that hard core partisan politics is creeping into everyday life.

        The thing is hard core partisan politics are becoming very common, therefore they’re not hard core partisan anymore. Just typical stuff…

        The real sad part in my view is that a Congressman and the media has turned this into another National Issue tied to the name calling, hatred, stereo typing, you name it. In the past, this would have remained a local issue between the Doc and his clients. Where it should be.

        Do you really think this doctor thought this would stay local? I wonder how soon he’ll jump into politics, or if he’ll be the next “Joe the Plumber”…

        Do you see any intimidation in the sign?

        If an African American person were sitting in this doctor’s waiting room, what do you think would be going thru their mind? What about others in the waiting room? The staff, nurses, and doctor treating them?

        Would they feel compelled to tell everyone that they did not vote for Obama and do not support his policies?
        How many would believe them?

        I’ll bet this doctor knows the makeup of his patients and won’t lose any over this…

        Snow?? Not a speck left. Skiing ended March 11 – several weeks earlier than “normal”, even earlier than recent trends. Ice went out on our lake March 28th – the first time it’s ever gone out in March (that the old-timers can remember!). Frost is out of the ground and every thing has dried up – almost a month earlier than usual.

        • Todd

          Golly, gee Todd. We seem to be far to much in agreement today. Will have to check my moon phase calendar to see what is going on.

          Yes, and HELL YES, the nasty partisan politics has become the standard. Perhaps the next round of “candidates” will truly mean it when they say they are going to break the cycle. But I doubt it. They will think they got elected because of the division.

          I hate to share your cynicism but you may be right about this doctor. Or he just might have been trying to make a point and now he is considering a new career.

          I am sure a black patient was probably thinking “that racist SOB”. After all, that has been what the media and leadership has been telling them to think for two years.

          Who knows about the rest. Guessing some thought funny and others didn’t. I am guessing that most would tell the Doc “none of your business” if he actually asked the question.

          I am guessing your right, he won’t lose any, that he wants to keep.

          We have been dry and cold this winter. Snow started out early and heavy and is now below 50%. That good ol El Nino playing havoc once again I think.

          Sounds like its time to start tilling the garden spot.

    • Cyndi P says:

      I will gladly seek a competent doctor elsewhere, if non regime supporting doctors are allowed to practice their trade. My concern is that eventually only ‘party members’ will be allowed to earn a living, but that is a different discussion.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        “My concern is that eventually only ‘party members’ will be allowed to earn a living…”

        And where do you find any support for this concern? Why do you believe this will occur?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I cannot answer for Cyndi (since I am not Cyndi nor do I pretend to be a government which is capable of answering for individuals)…

          However, if such a thing were to happen, it would not be the first time in the history of the world that it did happen, in fact, overall it would not even be all that unusual.

          “It can’t happen here” are famous last words. It could happen here just as easily as it has happened in other places and at other times.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            My point is that to make such claims absent any evidence whatsoever only serves to stifle debating the underlying issues. You can’t debate claims of what may possibly, conceivably, perhaps be without debating why you believe such an event may occur based on current evidence. Since there is no evidence whatsoever (that I know of) of this eventuality, there can be no debating it on any merits.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Buck,

              Liberals always love the precautionary principle (at least in cases where applying it directly supports their postition), so why should the precautionary principle not apply in ALL cases? To be logically consistent, we must apply it EVERYWHERE we possibly can, yes?

              (Said with tounge firmly implanted in cheek :))

            • It has happened in history tho, to say that there is no evidence is false. If you are going to be strict on that point, then I would have to say that your projections of reduced costs in health care or improved health is based on no evidence too, only projections and possibles. There is no evidence, historical or otherwise supporting those arguments. Are they totally without credibility as well?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                The fact that something happened somewhere else in history is not evidence that this is what will happen now under this Administration with this bill.

              • It is not proof, but with sufficient parallels between this legislation and these leaders and others in history, it is indeed evidence.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                And what are these parallels?

              • Buck,
                Parallels include:
                Implementation of a social program meant for the “good of the whole” and using legal enforcement to ensure complete participation. This was done in Communist Russia, Cuba, it is the stated goal in marxist thought, etc.

                Control of businesses and production under the guise of improving the economy and holding businesses to some “standard” of the government’s choosing. This was done in Fascist Germany.

                Deviation of government from its intended boundaries to avert supposed crises, some of which are obviously manufactured, as they were not crises a few years ago, despite that the issue that has supposedly his crisis state is no worse than before. This has been done in the early days of a host of authoritarian countries, before they became full blown tyrannies.

                More specifically, the UK, Canada, Australia, and various other European countries that have implemented universal health care have had serious issues with implementation. They have continually changed the restrictions to either rein in care levels in order to curb costs, or increase taxes to cover those costs, or both. The increases in costs to the point of debilitation, even in the face of projected savings or significantly lower estimates is well established. We do not have any evidence in our history that we will be an exception to this pitfall.

                Now, I will grant that we have more safeguards than some of those countries did against tyranny truly grabbing hold, but the parallels are still quite visible.

              • Why are you so sure it’ll be different this time?

              • Disgruntled says:

                Insanity is defined as doing the the thing over and over and expecting a different result.

                So could we say that Liberals are insane? I believe so.

              • Disgruntled says:

                That should have said “the same thing”

        • Cyndi P says:

          You yourself have said the Progressive movement will always have some injustice to correct. That tells me that no matter what is offered to appease Progressives, they will demand more and more will ulitmately demand total control. What better way to impose their demands than punish those who do not submit to the agenda/party line? And, as PeterB says, there are plenty of examples through out history. The fomrer Soviet Union and China come to mind, and probably Nazi Germany as well.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Progressives do not seek total control.

            Also, requiring all physicians be ‘party members’ would go against the progressive philosophy, at least as far as I’m concerned.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              What evidence do you offer that progressives do not seek total control? All evidence so far seems to counter-indicate your position on this one.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                My evidence is anecdotal. I see myself as a progressive. I do not seek total control.

                Before you rip apart my ‘analysis’ of the issue – there will always be individuals who state they identify with a particular philosophy yet seek nothing more than personal gain (money and power). For Exhibit A, please see practically all our current Congressmen.

            • Progressives seek to apply their view of what is “best for society” and they will use control as a means of making this happen. This includes you, based on your arguments. Progressives may seek to use as little control as they deem necessary as long as their vision comes true. However, when it does not work because people do not voluntarily comply, would you not support increasing control rather than changing your vision?

              Assuming that at least some people will not agree with your vision (a safe assumption since I never will), then you must eventually resort to total control of at least some people.

            • YOu’re not in charge of the movement, muchless in charge of the Progressives running the country. What you want means as little to them as what I want.

  12. AMERICA NEEDS YOUR HELP…

    WALK NAKED IN AMERICA DAY
    >
    Don’t forget to mark your calendars.
    As you may already know, it is a sin for a Muslim males to see any woman
    other than his wife naked and if he does, he must commit suicide.

    So next Saturday at 1 PM Eastern Time, all American women are asked to walk out of
    their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood
    terrorists.

    Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist
    effort.

    All patriotic men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of
    their houses to demonstrate their support for the women and to prove that
    they are not Muslim terrorist sympathizers. Since Islam also does not
    approve of alcohol, a cold 6-pack at your side is further proof of your
    patriotism.

    The American government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists
    and applauds your participation in this anti-terrorist activity.

    God bless America !

    Sorry, could not resist.

    • Colonel you just made me hurt myself.

      Damn funny.

      • How do, JAC…a little jocularity never hurt anyone. HOw are you today, Sir?

        • D13

          I have a headache.

          Trying to review trust indenture documents while arguing with the lefties on HuffPo, staying sharp at SUFA, and finishing up my taxes.

          I am craving the quiet and peace of the prairie and mountains at this very moment.

          By the way, I tried posting your funny at HuffPo. It was rejected by their censors. Given what passes for acceptable their I must conclude it was the reference to Muslims and terrorists.

          How are you doing these days? Did you get up to OK roundup yet?

          • No. Not yet on roundup….the winter was longer this year…the calves dropped late..probably in another two weeks or so.

    • Is this really a marketing strategy for your anti-aging product? You can view the prospective clients and hand out literature as you deem necessary? Shame on you for using those peace loving Islam supporters for your benefit.

  13. PapaDawg says:

    Addressing the original question – A doctor in private practice is a private business, and I have seen in several private businesses nationwide signs to the effect of “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”. Why shouldn’t doctors in private practice have that right also? Isn’t that what freedom is all about?

    Just asking . . .

    • Buck The Wala says:

      As I posted above to JAC — there is a huge difference between having the RIGHT to refuse service and whether doing is is UNETHICAL.

      Clearly he would have the legal right to refuse service. I am arguing that doing so would be unethical.

      • PapaDawg says:

        Oh, and under Obamacare it would be ethical to deny someone medical services?

        Just doesn’t make any sense to me . . . .

  14. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    The following is the translated text of the Hyppocratic Oath:

    “I swear by Apollo the physician, and Asclepius, and Hygieia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses as my witnesses, that, according to my ability and judgement, I will keep this Oath and this contract:

    To hold him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents, to be a partner in life with him, and to fulfill his needs when required; to look upon his offspring as equals to my own siblings, and to teach them this art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or contract; and that by the set rules, lectures, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to students bound by this contract and having sworn this Oath to the law of medicine, but to no others.

    I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgement, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.

    I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

    In purity and according to divine law will I carry out my life and my art.

    I will not use the knife, even upon those suffering from stones, but I will leave this to those who are trained in this craft.

    Into whatever homes I go, I will enter them for the benefit of the sick, avoiding any voluntary act of impropriety or corruption, including the seduction of women or men, whether they are free men or slaves.

    Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my professional practice or not, which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep secret, as considering all such things to be private.

    So long as I maintain this Oath faithfully and without corruption, may it be granted to me to partake of life fully and the practice of my art, gaining the respect of all men for all time. However, should I transgress this Oath and violate it, may the opposite be my fate.”

    I see MANY MANY things in this oath that are now ROUTINELY violated by doctors, many at the REQUIREMENT of GOVERNMENT. However, I see NOTHING in this Oath that is violated by the sign which this doctor put on his office.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      I believe this is the traditional oath, not the modern version currently used. Here is the text of the modern version from Wiki:

      I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
      I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

      I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

      I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

      I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

      I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

      I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

      I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

      I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

      If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

  15. The doctor has a right to express the opinion he posted on the door into his office elsewhere. If he thinks that sign doesn’t intimidate many of his patients who agree with health care reform, I’ve got some swampland to sell him. And then to lie about and say he’s not refusing care! Wow. Can you say hair splitting?

    Health care reform is about our political leaders trying to keep the country fiscally strong. Doing nothing means it is threatened of with all the age-related diseases baby boomers will be getting. It has nothing to do with altruism. It’s a business decision to move some of the burden out of the government’s budget.

    I have no children but have always said I like to live in a community that has a strong school system and programs for kids because that’s makes it a better community for me. So I have never minded paying taxes to support other people’s children. Same deal with health care. While sure, selfishly I would like to keep my money, I realize it is better for me to live in a country in which the government is not going broke paying its healthcare bill.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Deb,

      The government is going broke trying to pay for schooling and healthcare in spite of the fact that you pay your taxes.

      It will continue to do so regardless of whether or not you continue to pay your taxes.

      Schools do not need to be “public” and neither does “healthcare”. Both would be far less expensive and of much higher quality if they were NOT “public” (by public here I mean either run or controlled to near exclusivity by the government).

      For example, with education, you are actually getting a double-whammy (or perhaps even triple or quadruple).

      You are paying for other people’s kids to become “educated”. They may (or MAY NOT) become productive members of society thanks to this “education”.

      If they do become productive members of society, then they are going to produce a good or a service which people in that society are willing to pay for. By paying for their education AND paying for the good or service which they now provide as productive members of society, you are getting double-dipped. You paid for their training AND for the good or service that they now provide. There is also a (alarmingly high) possibility that they may not become productive members of society, in which case you completely wasted your money.

      Let’s say for example your drains are badly clogged, and you need them fixed right away. Would you prefer to pay for a fully trained plummer to come out and fix your drains, or would you be ok with having someone say to you, “if you pay for my training up front, I will go ahead and get trained, and then come out and fix your problem, and then I will charge you for fixing the problem once it is fixed.”?

      Certainly children cannot pay to get themselves educated, and it is not a free process. However, why does that mean that “society” is suddenly forced to pay for all children to be educated? That is the least efficient and least effective way to design an education system.

    • I have no problem wit you paying taxes. I, however, do not agree that a good public school makes a good neighborhood. Even in cases where that may be true, it is always a result of the people, not the money that make the school and the neighborhood good. As a home school graduate, I can attest that public education is not always a necessity. There are better ways, at least for some.

      That said, I would be willing to pay taxes for education supplements (vouchers). I just don’t trust the government to be in charge of implementation.

      For those who choose not to pay taxes into the education system, I have no problem with them.

    • Deb,

      You said: “I realize it is better for me to live in a country in which the government is not going broke paying its healthcare bill.”

      Welcome and my advice would be to start looking for another country to call home.

  16. Buck The Wala says:

    To add to the debate about whether or not a doctor would be violating professional ethics:

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion1005.shtml

    It is clearly unethical to decline treatment to a patient due to race, gender or sexual orientation. The Ethics Opinion goes on to cover permissible reasons to ethically decline treatment of a patient not covered by one of the aforementioned classifications – a patient’s political affiliation does not provide a basis to ethically refuse treatment to that patient.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      The accompanying report goes on to state that physicians should not choose who to treat based on the characteristics of individuals as doing so would be unprofessional. Basically I would read this to state that it would be unethical (though not necessarily illegal) to refuse treatment to a patient due to a patient’s characteristics or beliefs that are wholly disconnected with the patient’s illness or treatment needs.

      Further, the Ethical Opinion dealing with a doctor’s right to refuse treatment to a patient where the treatment violates the doctor’s own religious, moral or personal views would not operate to condone a doctor’s refusal to treat a patient because of that patient’s political views. In this context, the doctor’s views must go against the TREATMENT being sought, not the patient himself.

      Any other readings out there??

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I believe you read that correctly. Political beliefs would not constitute a valid reason for denial of treatment. This particular doctor’s actions are interesting… his sign indicates the intent to deny treatment, but he claims no ACTUAL intent to deny treatment, merely an intent to grab attention using this tactic.

        Kind of like the House episode a while back where one of the doctors killed an African dictator because killing the dictator might save millions of lives in his country. Not strictly “ethical” on medical lines, but arguably served the “greater good”, so I guess on the whole it was ok….

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I’m not so sure actual intent would govern ethical behavior in this regard — surely the doctor knew that by posting such a sign he could wind up discouraging patients from entering his office. I would say that is sufficient to establish unethical behavior under the professional guidelines.

          • Buck

            He is a urologist. You don’t just walk into their office.

            In fact most require a referral from a GP in my part of the world.

            I doubt anyone would turn back at the door after waiting to get the appointment.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Allow me to clarify — surely the doctor knew that some patients – upon being referred by other doctors, scheduling an appointment, waiting for such appointment, and showing up for their appointment – may well turn around and not walk into the office (for their pre-scheduled referred-in appointment) due to this sign.

              Better? 🙂

          • Is it unethical to influence (read not force) someone to get treatment elsewhere? Really?

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Depends on how you ask the question:

              Is it unethical to influence someone to get treatment elsewhere because….

              A) You disagree with their political views
              B) You disagree with the treatment they desire

              I would say yes to (A) and no to (B). It all depends on the reason.

      • Buck….something that is not ringing here……he has not refused to practice….he has only stated his opinion. I am unaware of his refusal. I watched an interview by him and he will treat anyone that walks in…despite his sign.

        Now, given those facts, do you subscribe to the theory that posting a sign of that nature, violates ethics if he does not refuse service but people make the decision to not walk in the office?

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Yes, that is precisely my opinion based on my reading of the doctor’s professional ethical guidelines.

          If he were to actually refuse to treat a patient, would you believe that to be unethical?

          If so, then why would it matter if it reached that stage – surely it would similarly be unethical to advertise his seeming intent to refuse treatment to a patient. Would it be ok to post a sign that says he will not treat Jews? Gays? Blacks? (assuming he really didn’t intend to refuse treatment but was just making a statement and would still treat anyone that enters)

          • Looks as if he has not refused to treat anyone. I wonder why this is a national news story? He hasn’t done anything except hang a sign. Any bets someone will soon claim he refused to treat them because they were Obamanites?

            http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/04/dr_cassell_and_the_shot_heard.html

            Being careful to stay within accepted medical ethics Dr. Jack Casell states, “I’m not turning anybody away – that would be unethical. But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”

            • Buck The Wala says:

              And my argument is that action too is unethical. He is posting the sign with the express acknowledgement that it may have the affect of getting people to turn the other way.

              • If they care more about their politics than their health, then they are as guilty as he, thus absolving both. It simply means that somethings are more important in life than Urology.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                That doesn’t answer the ethical question posed.

                Also, its not necessarily that the prospective patient cares more about politics than their health; the reason for their turning around in this example is due to their genuine belief that the doctor will refuse to treat them.

              • No way. They would not give up that easily if they needed the service and there was no other. If htey do, well, I am sorry, but that sort of idiocy is part of natural selection.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I agree – it may be extremely stupid and part of natural selection. But that doesn’t make it any less ethical on the doctor’s part.

              • Is it ethical for a doctor to save the life of someone who will be a drain on teh gene pool? Is that in the best interests of society? 😀

          • Buck asks: If he were to actually refuse to treat a patient, would you believe that to be unethical?

            D13 Says; No sir. I do not believe that it would violate his ethics if he chose not to treat any one for any basis. It is a choice.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              So you don’t believe it would violate his ethics to refuse to treat a patient based solely on the patient’s political views? And the same would hold true if the decision is based solely on the patient’s race?

              How would that not violate ethics?

  17. I'm learning! says:

    Here is a theory…

    It’s Time for a 21st Century Health Revolution

    The cost for ObamaCare has many Americans trying to understand how we can foot the bill. It will connect millions more Americans to a sickness industry gone wild. States are realizing that the mandates within the legislation will force them to spend money through the Medicaid program that they do not have – and unlike the federal government states don’t have a Monopoly-style printing press. States are now making the effort to fight ObamaCare in court on points of constitutionality. I have an additional idea for the states that is certain to work: disband all the medical licensing boards. At once the runaway costs of the current health system as well as ObamaCare would be stopped, the quality of care would improve, the suppression of health-option competition would be eliminated, and a new Golden Era of healing would be ushered in.
    Those clutching desperately to undeserved power and profits will cry fowl and warn of danger to the public health. Their arguments are shallow and worn. Truly criminal behavior by doctors, such as sexual abuse, can readily be dealt with by the regular court system. Standards of training and competency for the most dangerous of medical procedures, such as surgery, can be maintained by an alternate system of certification.
    The fact of the matter is that medical licensing boards have forced a brand of Big-Pharma medicine on the American public that does not produce the result of health for a majority of people participating. To the contrary, millions are injured every year while costs skyrocket. It should come as no surprise that President Obama struck special deals behind close doors with the key players involved: Big Pharma, hospitals, and the AMA. Yes, the states do have the power to change everything by freeing themselves of the monopolistic rules and fraudulent practices behind the excessive use of drugs that is costing so much money. The federal government can do absolutely nothing to stop them. Without the licensing boards the whole fraudulent system comes tumbling down.

    Read the whole article… http://www.wellnessresources.com/freedom/articles/its_time_for_a_21st_century_health_revolution/

  18. On the citizenship based on taxes argument (I didn’t want to respond when it has to be read on word at a time down a long column).

    If a country or society is engaging in activities that are for the protection/good of its citizens and their rights, and those actions are clearly defined in the basic documents that set up that government, i.e. our constitution, and you disagree with them, are you really wanting to remain a citizen of that nation? What is the problem with being removed from a nation whose most basic actions you disagree with and are unwilling to pay for? Why is citizenship so important to you?

    I do not think that having to move is part of citizenship. And I know that there will remain some inadvertent benefit for those former citizens who own property or live in the nation. They have no vote, they are not afforded the use of the legal system for protection against fraud or enforcement of contracts, etc. The only people I know of that would take that sort of risk are persons like BF. I think he would welcome the opportunity.

    As for division of taxation and benefits, I do not think it would be as difficult a you imagine. We are interconnected, but certain things, like the social safety nets, would not survive the voluntary taxation, and therefore I think you would see the heavily interconnected stuff fall apart anyway.

  19. would seem that this would be a violation of the oath a doctor take

    First, they don’t take an oath. That went out 50 years ago, as it had no value or legal force.

    To be a member of the AMA, they have to uphold a standard of ethics. It is not an oath.

    A man has a right to chose whether or not he works or not. Otherwise he is a slave.

    He can say “NO!” and be in his right. The AMA can kick him out of their association – that is their right.

    (We can get into whether the AMA has a right by law to force medical licensing another day)

    • I'm learning! says:

      I like that line – a man can choose whether or not he wants to work otherwise he is a slave.

      I know someone who has seen too much of the “politically correct – HR pushed” crap that comes out of people complaining about things that are unfair in the workplace. So he spouts off about who can try and sue for discrimination over what because of it.

      The last time we had that conversation is about a massage therapist we know that is dropping most of her male clients because of a few “bad situations” that have happened (she works for herself out of her own house). She is keeping some that she trusts, or that have wives that also go there and it’s a good solid situation. But rarely if ever takes on new male clients. He said she better be careful about that because someone could sue for discrimination. I say, it’s her business and she can have any client she wants! But I think I’m trying that line in our next discussion on the topic.

      The sad thing, I’m not so sure he believes what he spouts, he just spouts it because he’s seen too many stupid people yelling discrimination over stupid things.

    • FYI, only about 22% of physicians are members of the AMA. They do not license physicians.

      • USWeapon says:

        Interesting stat Jennie. Thanks for adding it, I would have never known that the number was so low. I kind of assumed that the vast majority of of physicians were members of the AMA.

        USW

    • BF says: (We can get into whether the AMA has a right by law to force medical licensing another day)

      D13 says: I asked my neighbor, who is a surgeon and he says that the AMA is not a licensing organization…it is a social club.

      • He further confirmed that less than 25% of the doctors belong to it…he does not and does not know anyone in his circles that does belong to it.

  20. Weihl and Guilfoyle (sp?) both said on O’Reilly tonight that Grayson doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  21. https://patientoptout.com/secure-online-donation/muslims-get-to-opt-out/

    President Obama Exempt from ObamaCare
    Vice President Biden Exempt from ObamaCare
    Speaker Nancy Pelosi Exempt from ObamaCare
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Exempt from ObamaCare
    White House Staff Exempt from ObamaCare
    Cabinet Secretaries Exempt from ObamaCare
    Congressional Staff* Exempt from ObamaCare
    Amish Exempt from ObamaCare
    American Indian Tribes Exempt from ObamaCare
    Criminals Exempt from ObamaCare
    Scientologists Exempt from ObamaCare
    Christian Scientists Exempt from ObamaCare
    Muslims Exempt from ObamaCare
    Baptists Non exempt from Obama Care
    Catholics Non exempt from Obama Care
    Lutherans Non exempt from Obama Care
    Jews Non exempt from Obama Care
    You Non exempt from Obama Care

    *Congressional staffers who wrote ObamaCare, staffers working in a leadership office or for a Congressional committee all receive an exemption.

    This was sent to me today…if true……interesting.

  22. http://collateralmurder.com/en/index.html

    The US, in a random attack on civilians, killed two Reuters news reporters in Iraq.

    After demanding an investigation, the military claimed it was within the Rules of Engagement, and said they had attacked a group of insurgents.

    The military refused to release the cameraman’s equipment and film, nor the film from the gun camera’s nor the audio.

    Reuters began an FOI and the military have been ignoring it for nearly two years.

    Wikileaks received an anonymous release of the audio and gun cameras.

    It is Murder – cold blooded – and white washed by the US military.

    Be forewarned. This is not from some video game. The footage is raw.

    • USWeapon says:

      You are completely wrong. I will address this in open mic. White washed by the military, perhaps a bit, but cold blooded murder…. not even close.

  23. on behalf of seniors and their professionals, the AMA is normally urging Congress to act before a fabulous Medicare crisis begins in December 1. Congressional phase this four week period is in order to stop the medicare cut. Congress is required to keep medicare insurance strong for our senior sufferers and be sure that baby boomers will deal with physicians whenever they begin finding their treatment cards for the very first time this jan.

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