According to a new study that was published this Monday, the political views of doctors can interfere in patient care. Yale researchers discovered that politics is not left outside the examining room, doctors being influenced by their Democrat or Republican preference when dealing with a patient that has opposite views.
The Yale team in charge of the study analyzed records of voter registrations and linked more than 20,000 primary care physicians with their party of choice. Then, they gathered a smaller sample of 200 doctors that were then asked to detail the way in which they would react to different doctor-patient scenarios.
In cases of depression, alcohol abuse, or reckless driving, both Democrat and Republican doctors responded in the same way, offering the patient the same level of care.
However, when they were confronted with scenarios like marijuana consumption, abortions, and gun regulation, the political views of the participants were clearly influencing the way in which they treated their patients.
In the case of abortions, Republicans were more than twice as likely to discourage the female patient from attempting to undergo the procedure by also recommending a talk with a psychiatrist about the mental health issues caused or that cause an abortion.
On the other hand, Democrats supported the patient, presenting facts, and encouraging the woman to make her own decisions.
When it comes to a male patient that abuses recreational marijuana, Republicans registered a 67% increased tendency of wanting to present their patient the legal risks of the drug. They were also 47 more likely to interfere and tell the patient to quit or cut back on his habit.
Gun control is also an issue that makes the political views of a doctor more evident. Republican doctors have a bigger tendency of discussing safe options for gun storage, while Democrat doctors were more inclined to talk to their patients about gun legislation or the necessity of having a gun in a home.
The American Pediatric Academy advises all doctors to urge parents not to keep firearms in the same house as a child because the number of incidents involving children killed in firearm accidents increased over the years.
However, Republicans do not agree, the doctors supporting gun propriety.
Do you think that political views should be ignored when a doctor treats a patient? Should patients be informed of the political views of their physician before receiving medical care?
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