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AirTalk asks: Is there a place for doctors in politics?




Doctors, nurses, patients and activists listen as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at Bellevue Hospital a day after the Republicans released their health care bill to the public on June 23, 2017 in New York City.
Doctors, nurses, patients and activists listen as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at Bellevue Hospital a day after the Republicans released their health care bill to the public on June 23, 2017 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Health care politics are heating up – a reality that has some calling for a doctors’ March on Washington.

In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, physician and NYU professor Danielle Ofri argues doctors need to become more politically involved. She says that while it is part of a doctor’s job to advocate for patients with insurance companies, most doctors draw a line at political advocacy. But even if politics should usually be kept separate from doctor-patient relationships, she says, this legislation’s impact on patient health will be so significant that doctors have a moral duty to fight the bill the way they fight for their patients with hospitals and insurance companies.

Doctors – do you think the GOP bill presents a new need for political activism in the medical community? And patients – do you feel comfortable if your doctors are openly politically involved? Will the GOP bill herald a new era of political participation among doctors, or should the line between medicine and activism remain firmly in place?

Guest host Libby Denkmann in for Larry Mantle

Guests:

Danielle Ofri, M.D., PhD,  associate professor of medicine at New York University and author of the New York Times op-ed, “Time for a Doctors’ March on Washington”; her latest book is “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear” (Beacon Press, 2017)

Arthur Caplan, professor of Medical Ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center and Director of the division of medical ethics; he tweets @ArthurCaplan