A new controversy has sparked in Alabama after a primary care physician has announced that he will no longer accept patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19. The doctor published a photo on his Facebook account revealing a sign posted on his door. The sign read “Effective October 1st,2021 Dr. Valentine will no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19”.
Dr. Valentine Jason works at the Infirmary Health Diagnostic and Medical Clinic in Saraland and he is specialized in family medicine. Besides putting up the announcement he also send letters to his patients to let them know about the new policy.
“I cannot and will not force anyone to take the vaccine, but I also cannot continue to watch my patients suffer and die from an eminently preventable disease. If you wish to choose another physician, we will be happy to transfer your records,” the letter read.
Dr. Valentine is not the first doctor considering this policy. More doctors consider taking into account the vaccination status of their patients. A California doctor from the COVID unit declared that she is “running out of compassion for the unvaccinated”, while a New York physician was wondering whether it is possible to switch unvaccinated patients to telehealth appointments for safety reasons.
The decision taken by Dr. Valentine stirred up quite a reaction, with comments that vary from positive to criticism, although most people appear to support the new policy. Some commented that Dr. Valentine is entitled to protect his own health and not deal with unvaccinated patients, while there are also some voices arguing that this decision goes against his professional oath. From a legal standpoint it appears that the new policy does not go against any laws or regulations, while the ethical aspect of this issue is not as clear.