Although Prague-based dental clinic‘s homepage features a large sign that reads “We’re here for everyone,” a little further down it states that it does not provide treatment to people with certain political views it disagrees with:
Who we’re not for:
* For supporters of all totalitarian trends, Russian, Chinese, Muslim.
* For the followers of misinformation, manipulation, lies, intimidation and unfreedom.
* For the young Western progressive left, who, blissed out by their long life of freedom, abundance and progress (won for them by their parents and grandparents through endless hard work), are now discovering and promoting unrecognised and uncharted totalitarian ideals and the censorship and ostracisation of people with differing views leading to the destruction of individual freedoms and freedom of speech.
* For supporters of racism. Because only and only “All lives matter”.
As much as we can understand their position and also that medical care providers are free to express their own views – these same healthcare providers have a duty to treat all patients who choose them, regardless of patients’ opinions!
This statement was deemed unethical by the Czech Dental Chamber which issues norms of conduct for dentists. The chamber noted that under Czech law, it is the patient’s right to choose a provider who meets their healthcare needs. Providers generally must treat any patient who selects them, subject to limited exceptions like capacity. By implying it could selectively deny service based on views rather than care factors, the clinic reduced its medical integrity, according to the chamber. The Czech Dental Chamber ruled that this message constitutes unethical and misleading advertising and it issued the clinic a reprimand.
The clinic sued but the Municipal Court of Prague agreed with the dental regulator. The court said that while dentists are free to express their own views, they cannot use them to selectively choose patients or deter some from seeking treatment.
The clinic owner sued over the chamber’s reprimand, arguing its statement was lawful free expression.
The court dismissed the clinic’s lawsuit, affirming the reprimand over its politically discriminatory statement – It found that while the clinic did not explicitly refuse any patients, by stating certain political views make one unwelcome, the clinic sent a signal it aims to pick patients based on non-medical criteria rather than obligations to serve those seeking its help (the message had a dissuading and selective effect by negatively labeling certain viewpoints). This was found to lower the ethical standards of the dental profession.
This ruling reaffirms ethical duties of neutrality and equal access in Czech medical services.
The message has now been removed from the clinic’s website.
Although the clinic has a blog on its website, it has not published any public statement.