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  1. #1
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    Doctor denies service to child because parent has tatoos

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    BAKERSFIELD - A family is turned away by a local pediatrician, they say because of the way they look.
    The doctor said he is just following his beliefs, creating a Christian atmosphere for his patients.

    Tasha Childress said it’s discrimination.

    She said Dr. Gary Merrill wouldn’t treat her daughter for an ear infection because Tasha, the mother, has tattoos.

    The writing is on the wall—literally: “This is a private office. Appearance and behavior standards apply.”

    For Dr. Gary Merrill of Christian Medical Services, that means no tattoos, body piercings, and a host of other requirements—all standards Merrill has set based upon his Christian faith.


    I suppose this doctor has the right to deny service to anyone since he is in private practice, but, as a Christian, I have a real problem with him doing so in the name of Christianity. He needs to read his Bible again to see that Christ never refused to help anyone.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2004
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    Suffer the little children to come unto me ........ As long as mum doesnt have any tats. mmmmmmmm doesnt sound like any kind of good christian to me .

  3. #3
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    In the end, it's his business and he has a right to say who he is prepared to serve.

    i think he's nuts, but he can do what he wants.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maral
    Link

    BAKERSFIELD - A family is turned away by a local pediatrician, they say because of the way they look.
    The doctor said he is just following his beliefs, creating a Christian atmosphere for his patients.

    Tasha Childress said it’s discrimination.

    She said Dr. Gary Merrill wouldn’t treat her daughter for an ear infection because Tasha, the mother, has tattoos.

    The writing is on the wall—literally: “This is a private office. Appearance and behavior standards apply.”

    For Dr. Gary Merrill of Christian Medical Services, that means no tattoos, body piercings, and a host of other requirements—all standards Merrill has set based upon his Christian faith.

    I suppose this doctor has the right to deny service to anyone since he is in private practice, but, as a Christian, I have a real problem with him doing so in the name of Christianity. He needs to read his Bible again to see that Christ never refused to help anyone.
    All physicians take the hippocratic (sp?) oath, and I think that says something about not refusing to render medical aid. So I don't think it's his right to refuse medical attention to anyone. His "Christian" beliefs should not have anything to do with not treating a CHILD.

  5. #5
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    May 2004
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    I think this is just awful. This man is NOT a Christian.

  6. #6
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    From the article:
    ...17 News found other patients who had a different experience with Merrill.

    “I have tattoos, actually, and no, nothing’s ever been said about it,” Brandi Stanley said, Merrill’s patient.

    Childress’ insurance company, Health Net of California, who referred her to Merrill, said in a statement: “We provide our customers with a wide breadth of doctors that meet certain medical quality standards...


    Surely, this wasn't the only pediatrician in the area. Her own insurance company says that they provide a 'wide breadth of doctors.' So, why did this woman allow her daughter to suffer? Was she trying to make a point?

    I fault her more than I fault the doctor. If he were the only doctor in the area, then, yes, I would fault him. The child is innocent. Surely, there is more to this story. The article also has a statement from one of the doctor's patients who has tattoos herself.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanandjim
    From the article:
    ...17 News found other patients who had a different experience with Merrill.

    “I have tattoos, actually, and no, nothing’s ever been said about it,” Brandi Stanley said, Merrill’s patient.

    Childress’ insurance company, Health Net of California, who referred her to Merrill, said in a statement: “We provide our customers with a wide breadth of doctors that meet certain medical quality standards...


    Surely, this wasn't the only pediatrician in the area. Her own insurance company says that they provide a 'wide breadth of doctors.' So, why did this woman allow her daughter to suffer? Was she trying to make a point?

    I fault her more than I fault the doctor. If he were the only doctor in the area, then, yes, I would fault him. The child is innocent. Surely, there is more to this story. The article also has a statement from one of the doctor's patients who has tattoos herself.

    Perhaps she hadn't been there before to learn of his "rules' and when he refused to help her it was too late to make another appointment elsewhere. I know it would not occur to me to ask the receptionist when making the appointment whether the Doc had special "rules" about appearance.

    What does he think he is going to accomplish? Sanctimonius jacka$$ IMHO.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthersmama
    Perhaps she hadn't been there before to learn of his "rules' and when he refused to help her it was too late to make another appointment elsewhere. I know it would not occur to me to ask the receptionist when making the appointment whether the Doc had special "rules" about appearance.

    What does he think he is going to accomplish? Sanctimonius jacka$$ IMHO.
    I agree that the doctor should have made an exception for the innocent child's sake, warned her about his "rules," and then refused to see her again if she didn't comply. I'm just sorry that the child had to suffer.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2005
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    206
    Quote Originally Posted by SadieMae
    All physicians take the hippocratic (sp?) oath, and I think that says something about not refusing to render medical aid. So I don't think it's his right to refuse medical attention to anyone. His "Christian" beliefs should not have anything to do with not treating a CHILD.
    actually he can. Scores of Doctors refuse to see children and any patient regardless of their illness based on the fact that they are on welfare or they can't pay. If a doctor can refuse to treat someone based on their ability to pay, he can refuse tx based on the patients appearance.
    The only place in this country that HAS to see a person in the ER.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2005
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    16,237
    Wow, this dr has some real issues. He needs to leave the "Christianity" bit out of this. Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything like this.

    What if the tattoo were of Jesus dying on the cross?



  11. #11
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    USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcksum
    ...The only place in this country that HAS to see a person in the ER.
    I didn't know that. Now, it makes sense why so many of the poor go to the ER for common illnesses. Every doctor's office/call center that I have called makes sure you have insurance before they will even talk to you. It's kind of offensive.

  12. #12
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    He's a real jerk - and she had no way to know that he'd be doing that. The child didn't have any tatoos, and has no choice about her parent (even were there something wrong about tatoos). The tatoo and piercing thing sounds to me just like burquas and such - cultural beliefs and prejudices projected onto religion.

  13. #13
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    What a loser. He's certainly not advancing the precepts of Christianity.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  14. #14
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    Jun 2004
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    Central PA
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    Well, now, this guy really took the "fun" out of "fun"damentalism! I'll betcha he wouldn't prescribe BC, etc., either--yeah, I know he's a pediatrician, but it sounds as if he's like the pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions because of their religious persuasion.
    He also hasn't read his Bible very carefully because Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me." "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Plus, he hung out with (GASP) many "undesirables" (the Samaritan woman ring a bell?).

  15. #15
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    May 2006
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    Wrapping himself in a cloak of Christianity over this issue seems a bit odd--It seems to me a much more personal issue---As a pediatrician, he first sees the child, then talks to the parent--I imagine that he was just sick and tired of seeing tattoos all the time on many parents, a personal prejudice that he is allowed to get away with, since its a private practice--If someone doesn't like it,they can always go to another doctor--I've changed doctors myself for lesser reasons

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