As if to underscore the Democrats’ complete indifference to the political and economic consequences of ObamaCare, now or four years from now, and the “offensive” they are launching against anyone who resists or criticizes Obama or anything to do with him, Alan Grayson, a Florida Democratic representative, is filing a “complaint” against a Florida doctor, Dr. Jack Cassell, a urologist, who affixed a notice on his office door that read:
“If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”
Cassell’s is the kind of fight-back we should hope to see and expect of medical professionals of all suasions. After all, ObamaCare not only abridges or denies Americans their right to choose to buy health insurance or not, whether or not they want it or need it, but, in our semi-socialized medical establishment, expects those professionals to take cuts in income and abide by byzantine bureaucratic rules. It expects them to submit their patients to a welter of bureaucratic advisory boards which will determine the “justice” of medical costs and whether or not treatment is even “justified.” ObamaCare turns both doctors and patients into wards and slaves of the state.
A single constituent of Grayson’s complained about the sign to the representative, who will officially complain to the Florida Department of Health. His argument will be that the doctor is in ethical violation of the Hippocratic Oath. But, which version of that Oath will Grayson base his complaint on? Surprise, Mr. Grayson: There is nothing in either the classic or modern version of it that commits a doctor to working for free, or to forbidding him to refuse a patient, regardless of his race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, ailment, or even politics. In the modern version, the closest the Oath comes to altruism is:
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.
Nothing in that sentence suggests that any doctor turn himself into a compliant, indentured serf. What are those “special obligations,” and how would they differ from the obligations of a businessman to honor his contracts? Nothing is itemized. If a doctor wishes to work for free among the poor, at his own cost, that is his choice. ObamaCare, however, robs him of that choice. An altruist interpretation might be inferred in the sentence, but would hardly be grounds for claiming it is a commitment to servitude. Being a “member of society” is not an automatic sentence to servitude or slavery.
As Fox News reports, not even the Florida Department of Health claims that Cassell’s sign violates professional ethics or is in conflict with a statute.
“Because there is no statute, there would be no grounds for a complaint,” said Eulinda Smith of the Department. “It would be legally deficient.”
It would be “legally deficient,” not to mention unconstitutional, if there were a statute that denied any doctor his freedom of speech. Such a statutory gag would not permit a doctor to defend himself proactively (as in the urologist’s case) or in defense of himself in any circumstances governed by his relationship with real or potential patients.
In short, Grayson is grasping for straws that aren’t even there. But, that never stopped a politician from asserting they were there. Such hubris on the part of politicians and collectivists is the foundation of our rights-abridging and wealth-consuming welfare state.
Dr. Jack Cassell should be commended for his stand. Anyone who values the First Amendment should rally to his defense and support him.
No, no, chirped William Allen, a specialist in bioethics, law and medical professionalism at the University of Florida. Allen felt generous and said that Cassell can say what he wants as long as he doesn’t question patients about their politics or turn them away if he or the patient don’t agree on politics. Allen’s implied public position is that doctors are under strict obligation to accept anyone as a patient. Which is not true. No statute compels a doctor to accept or treat anyone — except perhaps in countries with socialized medicine.
Because Cassell has not turned away the few who voted for Obama — although it would be within his rights to, he probably suspects that the government and even the AMA would come down on him like a ton of bricks if he did refuse anyone — Allen quips that the doctor is “trying to hold onto the nub of his ethical obligation. But this is pushing the limit.”
And, what “ethical obligation” is Allen referring to? There’s nothing in the Hippocratic Oath that describes or expresses it in the context of a doctor/patient relationship. It is as vague and ambiguous as the commerce and general welfare clauses in the Constitution. At least, those clauses meant something specific to the Founders, if not to the Supreme Court and other legal authorities who have rendered them vague and ambiguous over the decades — purported adumbrations on which the Democrats are justifying taking over one-sixth of the economy through ObamaCare.
What is that “limit,” other than a doctor exercising his freedom of speech? In a collectivized society — such as Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, wish to establish in America — if a doctor is denied ownership of own his mind and body, and of the skills he studied for years to acquire, and is prohibited from making any choice in how he uses them, then his freedom of speech is irrelevant and so secondary it disappears from sight. Allen’s warning is: Don’t put into practice what you say, Dr. Cassell, or you’ll be sorry. Just shut up and obey.
Grayson and Allen are harpies of a feather in a numerous flock of unsavory creatures who wish to persuade Americans that they have a “right” to medical care. Well, no one has a “right” to medical care, just as no one has a “right” to health insurance, or to a job, or to a home, or to a good sex life.
Neither Grayson nor Allen has a leg to stand on. All they can do is express their malice for anyone who refuses to become a slave, or for anyone who speaks out against the prospect of becoming one.
Thomas Jefferson noted: “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” I would amend that to read: “When injustice becomes law, resistance is a right.”
And, in the context of our present predicament, he noted, two years before composing the Declaration of Independence, in A Summery View of the Rights of British America:
Scarcely have our minds been able to emerge from the astonishment into which one stroke of parliamentary thunder as involved us, before another more heavy, and more alarming, is fallen on us. Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, began at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably…too plainly prove a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.
ObamaCare is merely the latest episode of that concerted and deliberate reduction. It didn’t start with President Barack Obama, but, if enough Americans stand up with and in emulation of Dr. Jack Cassell, it may end with Obama.
Long Live Lady Liberty!