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← Religious Doctor Denies Medicine for HIV Positive Gay Man

Sample's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Sample

Devil's advocate.

What's the difference between what this doctor did (that title was earned btw, it can't be stripped away, though a license to practice can) and when a doctor refuses to accept federal funds thereby being able to refuse anyone who can't pay at time of services?

In other words, in the US, a physician can either choose to accept Medicare consignment (meaning they agree to accept whatever the US Government will reimburse for a procedure [usually a relatively paltry sum]) or forgo it altogether and deny seeing any demographic of clientele they want.

Obviously most oncologists, pulmonologists, urologists, will take the Govt. offer because most of their patients are senior citizens. They play the odds that if they see tons of elderly patients, they can offset the paltry reimbursements (additionally, altruism and a genuine love for their field, shouldn't be dismissed in this equation).

So, back to the topic. For many years my home town did not have a permanent dermatologist. When the MD came up from Seattle, he required cash payments at time of service. He would not bill Medicare (and didn't have to because he legally refused to accept assignment from the Govt.). Consequently, elderly (with Medicare insurance) were turned away, despite their need for care.

So, this religious nut of a doctor discriminates against a certain class of people. What's the difference between him and a doctor who refuses to see a patient because of their ability to pay? The difference is, the latter is ubiquitous and doesn't make headlines. Should it?

Mike

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 06:21:21 UTC | #948483