Jack And The Hypocritic Oath
Last week, a doctor in Florida posted a sign on his office door that said:
“If you voted for Obama….seek urologic (sic) care elsewhere.
Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years”
Dr. Jack Cassell has since made several comments about his posting – that he was exercising his First Amendment rights, that he was making a “suggestion” to incoming patients, and that he was referring to his discontent with specific elements of health care reform he read about online. His wife, Leslie Campione (who’s running for public office), helped to explain her husband’s position by posting the following statement on her Facebook page via a tweet:
Leslie Campione for Lake County County Commissioner District 4 In response to recent news (1/2) Jack does not have a mean bone in his body. Jack would never turn a patient away in need, and Jack would never treat patients differently because of their belief systems. This was a symbolic exercise of his first amendment right to express the negative impact the health care legislation will have on all of his patients.
Dr. Cassell fully demonstrated his lack of understanding about the”negative impact” of health care legislation. Apparently Ms. Campione doesn’t understand symbolism, the First Amendment, or what constitutes turning away a patient in need and violating the physician’s oath.
Symbolism is a device in which you substitute the direct object of your thought with a representative object. It’s a way to talk about something without explicitly stating it. There is no symbolism in Dr. Cassell’s sign. He’s talking specifically about Obama, health care, and his patients. The sign is not a symbol of anything; it gives people factual information about who is eligible for care in his office.
The freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment isn’t being exercised in Cassell’s sign, either. The sign contains irritation, arrogance, and no “core political speech.” Cassell is indeed welcome to say anything he wishes about politics, President Obama, the Democratic party, and health care reform. But he doesn’t. His sign gives directions to people who come to his office seeking medical treatment. If you voted for Obama, go elsewhere. That’s not core political speech; that’s discrimination.
A look at the physician’s oath can help determine whether Dr. Cassell has a mean bone in his body and whether he treats patients differently because of their “belief systems.” A modernization of the Hippocratic oath, the physician’s oath is a dedication to humanitarianism in response to the medical atrocities committed in World War II. The oath is eloquent and simple, with one line ringing loudly:
“I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race,
party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient”
So Dr. Cassell has some mean bones, a callous indifference to the people who seek his specialized care, and a profit-motivated rejection of health care reform. I’m not sure what oath Dr. Cassell swore when he began his medical service; it’s clear to me the only oath to which he now subscribes is hypocritic.Click here for reuse options!
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