When you’re choosing a doctor, it probably doesn’t occur to
you to inquire about his or her political leanings. After all, politics
can’t affect a doctor’s abilities, right? A new study says
that politics might play a bigger role in a doctor’s medical advice
than you might think.
study, released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discovered
that when it came to more controversial medical issues and treatments,
doctors’ concerns about their patients differed depending on the
doctor’s political affiliation.
For example, in cases dealing with issues such as abortion or the medicinal
use of marijuana, Republican doctors tended to recommend against these
treatments, while Democrats showed less concern. Democratic doctors, by
comparison, showed much more concern about patients who had firearms stored
at home, especially if the patient also had small children living with
them. However, less controversial health issues such as obesity or depression
didn’t show much of a discrepancy across party lines.
Based on the study’s findings, the researchers believe that patients
should be able to find out information regarding their doctor’s
political affiliation in much the same way they’re able to learn
other information about a doctor’s background. At the very least,
if you know that you have health concerns related to a politicized medical
issue such as abortion or marijuana use, you should be sure to engage
in an honest conversation about it with your doctor to find out where
he or she stands.
For more information about important things you need to know about your
doctor, see our article,
“Rogue Doctors Go Undisciplined by States.”
If you need smart insight into a potential case, please get in touch with our
D.C. medical malpractice attorneys
for a consultation.