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Heated Political Debates Banned From Part Of Long Island Hospital

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- One Long Island hospital has banned heated political debates in their cardio rehab unit's gym.

When you walk into the gym at Southampton Hospital there is a large pink sign that reads, "Due to the fact that we have patients with heart conditions, we cannot allow political debates in the gym," WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.

Manager Jessica Swiatocha said she posted the sign after she saw patients getting upset in heated debates over the presidential election.

She said it could be bad for their hearts.

"We have patients that are recovering from heart surgery and other various heart conditions, the last thing we want to do is increase their stress levels because it's going to increase cortisol levels, it's going to make them more prone to irregular heart rhythms, as well as increases in blood pressure," Swiatocha told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall.

Swiatocha said she's not trying to ban free speech. Politics can be discussed, but only in a calm manner.

"You can discuss politics, you just cannot debate them cause when they get into a debate standpoint it gets a little bit heated, and not everybody wants to hear everybody's opinion," Swiatocha said. "People have the right to come in and be able to do their rehab session in the gym."

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