Katie Drummond Contributor
April 2) -- A doctor in Mount Dora, Fla., has posted a sign on his clinic door that instructs patients who "voted for Obama" to go elsewhere for their medical care.
Dr. Jack Cassell, a urologist in the town of 11,500 people, is a registered Republican who opposes health care reform. The typewritten sign, which he posted earlier this week, reads, "If you voted for Obama, seek urological care elsewhere," and goes on to state that "changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years."
"I'm not turning anybody away -- that would be unethical," Cassell, 56, told the Orlando Sentinel. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."
One of Cassell's patients told a friend, Estella Chatman, about the sign. Chatman's daughter then snapped a photo and sent it to Rep. Alan Grayson, an Orlando Democrat who staunchly supported his party's efforts at health care overhaul.
The friend, Chatman said, "is going to find another doctor."
It's illegal for doctors to turn away patients based on factors like race, gender, religion or disability. Political preference, however, isn't specifically protected by civil rights law.
Allen's likely pushing the limit, but not doing anything illegal, according to William Allen, a professor of bioethics at the University of Florida's College of Medicine.
By not directly inquiring about the political stance of his patients, he's "trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation," Allen told the Sentinel. "But this is pushing the limit."
The sign isn't the only indication of Cassell's disdain for new health legislation. The doctor provides leaflets on health reform, along with a sign stating, "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."
Cassell and his wife, Leslie, have a long history in the area where the doctor practices. She's a Republican Party candidate for the county commissioner's office. He's been a urologist in Mount Dora for more than 20 years and was also chief of surgery at a nearby hospital.
And if you're a pro health reform patient who'd still like an appointment? Cassell says he'll treat anyone. But, he admits, he'd really rather not.
"I can at least make a point," he said.
Rep. Grayson, for one, thinks a doctor's office is the wrong place to make a political stand.
"I think it's disgusting," he said. "I know that most people go into health care because they want to help sick people. They don't have some political agenda. I think it's outrageous that someone would try to press his political agenda."
"I think the sore losers are out in force."